Brazil to use China’s Sinovac vaccine in its immunization program

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New Delhi (NVI): The government of Brazil said that they plan to use a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine ‘CoronaVac’ as part of a nationwide immunisation program against the virus.

This was confirmed by Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria who said that the federal government had agreed to buy 46 million doses of the vaccine CoronaVac- developed by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, the BBC reported.

He also said the nationwide immunisation program could begin in January 2021, making it the first of its kind in the world to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazil has been the third worst affected country from the novel coronavirus in terms of number of cases after the United States and India.

The country has recorded nearly 5.3 million confirmed cases and is second only to the US in terms of deaths, with nearly 155,000 registered so far, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.

Moreover, if approved by the country’s health regulator, CoronaVac will be one of two vaccines included in Brazil’s immunisation program, as per the reports.

The country also plans to administer a vaccine being created by England’s Oxford University and the drug giant AstraZeneca.

Doria has previously touted Sinovac’s experimental vaccine, announcing plans to use it to inoculate residents of Sao Paulo.

The Chinese vaccine is being tested by Sao Paulo state’s research centre Butantan Institute. The institute earlier announced that the two-dose Chinese vaccine appeared to be safe in a late-stage clinical trial.

However, it also warned the result was only preliminary, with testing ongoing. It said data on how effective the vaccine is will not be released until the trial is completed on all of the 13,000 volunteers.

The researchers will keep monitoring the participants in the ongoing trial. It’s the first set of results of Sinovac’s global Phase 3 trials, which are also being conducted in Turkey and Indonesia.

-RJV