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  • The Governor of Sao Paulo Joao Doria (R) accompanied by the Director of the Butantan Institute Dimas Covas (L) and the Secretary of Health of the State of Sao Paulo Jean Gorinchteyn (C), pose next to the first lot of the

    The Governor of Sao Paulo Joao Doria (R) accompanied by the Director of the Butantan Institute Dimas Covas (L) and the Secretary of Health of the State of Sao Paulo Jean Gorinchteyn (C), pose next to the first lot of the "Coronavac", Brazil, Nov. 19, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 20 November 2020
Opinion

Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine candidate is in phase 3 of clinical trials which involves thousands of volunteers in Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey.

Authorities in Brazil Thursday received the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate CoronaVac developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac Biotech.

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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.

"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.

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