New Delhi (NVI): Amid a devastating resurgence of the coronavirus in parts of Brazil, health officials have granted authorisation to two covid vaccines for emergency use.
Brazilian regulatory agency Anvisa approved vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech and Britain’s AstraZeneca for emergency use in Brazil, which has recorded more than 209,000 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus since the start of the crisis.
Anvisa’s board of directors voted unanimously to approve both the vaccines after almost five hours of deliberations, doses of which will be distributed among all 27 states.
Shortly after Anvisa’s board gave emergency approval, Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old nurse in Sao Paulo, became the first person to be inoculated in Brazil, receiving the Chinese vaccine known as CoronaVac.
Coronavac, developed by Chinese company Sinovac, is now authorized for use of 6 million imported doses.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which showed 70.4 per cent average efficacy in preliminary Phase III trials, has also been approved for use of 2 million doses, which will be imported from Serum Institute of India (SII).
Last week, Brazil made a diplomatic push to guarantee an Indian-made shipment of 2 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, hoping to avoid export restrictions that could delay immunizations.
Brazil has recorded more than 8.45 million cases of COVID-19 to date, according to Johns Hopkins University, the third-highest tally in the world after the United States and India.