The first 120,000 CoronaVac doses arrived in Sao Paulo after the regional government closed an agreement with Sinovac for the import and transfer of the technology in order to produce the vaccine in the country by the Butantan Institute.
"In the next 40 days, we will have 46 million doses -equivalent to the entire population of the region- of this vaccine," Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria said.
Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine candidate is in phase 3 of clinical trials which involves thousands of volunteers in Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey.
Emocionante acompanhar a chegada das primeiras doses da Coronavac, a vacina do Butantan, ao Brasil. A vacina que representa nossa maior esperança no combate à COVID-19. Momento histórico em defesa da vida e no enfrentamento da pandemia. �� pic.twitter.com/vHjMPm9OQx
"Exciting to watch the arrival of the first doses of Coronavac, the Butantan vaccine, in Brazil. The vaccine that represents our greatest hope in combating COVID-19. Historical moment in defense of life and in facing the pandemic."
In Sao Paulo, 13,000 volunteers are taking part in the clinical trials of CoronaVac. According to the first results, the vaccine has the capacity to produce an immune response 28 days after its application in 97 percent of the cases.
The Ministry of Health has also signed an agreement with the British company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to allow the clinical trials of the vaccine they are developing, of which it already acquired 100 million doses in advance but which have not yet arrived in the country.
CoronaVac became the subject of a dispute between the ultra-right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and governor Doria. The confrontation escalated last week when the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) suspended the trial on volunteers for 48 hours, arguing "a serious incident" that occurred during the tests.
Anvisa recognized that the incident was not related to the vaccine's effectiveness, and the organization decided to resume its clinical trials in Brazil.
Brazil has a population of 210 million inhabitants and ranks third in the world in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases with almost 6 million.
Normally when Brazil's municipal elections are held 2 years into a new president's mandate, the ruling coalition gains hundreds of mayors' offices. Yesterday, as 147 million people voted, the opposite happened. Here is my analysis why for From the South. @telesurenglishpic.twitter.com/OOg2p7pPXF