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Chinese vaccine developer Sinovac Biotech and the Brazilian Butantan Institute signed an agreement to include 9,000 volunteers in phase 3 of Coronavac clinical trials.
Chinese vaccine developer Sinovac Biotech reaffirmed that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate CoronaVac is safe, following the announcement by Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) over the suspension of clinical trials in the country on Tuesday.
"After communicating with our Brazilian partner, the Butantan Institute, we learned that their board believes that this serious adverse event is not related to the vaccine," Sinovac representatives noted.
"The clinical study in Brazil is being carried out rigorously and in accordance with the requirements of good clinical practice and we are convinced of the safety of the vaccine," Sinovac representatives also added.
In late October, the director of Butantan Institute Dimas Covas reaffirmed the safety of the vaccine candidate. " Coronavac is the safest vaccine among all those being tested. It was tested on more than 70 thousand volunteers between Brazil and China, 15 thousand of them in Brazil alone," Covas said.
It seems that the suspension of Sinovac's phase 3 trial in Brazil may be due more to politics rather than science, i.e., Bolsonaro's rivalry with the governor of São Paulo, where the trial had taken place.
Brazil's health authorities were set to receive the first 120,000 doses of Coronavac on November 20, to produce 46 million doses by the end of December.
President Jair Bolsonaro attempted to prevent the beginning of Coronavac clinical trials by blocking the purchase of doses in October, despite the COVID-19 vaccine candidate met the safety requirements asked by ANVISA.
"Another one that Jair Bolsonaro wins," President Bolsonaro wrote on Tuesday after the ANVISA announcement.
Without offering further details, ANVISA announced the suspension of clinical trials of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CoronaVac, after a volunteer taking part in the study suffered "a serious incident" on October 29.
Having reported 5,675,766 Coronavirus cases and 162,638 related deaths, Brazil continues to rank third in the world in terms of confirmed Coronavirus cases, after the U.S. and India.