Update on Brazil and the coronavirus: to begin 3-month test of a coronavirus vaccine

People arrive for the burial of Jose Mario de Souza Veiga, 83, whose family members said died of COVID-19, at the Campo da Esperanca cemetery on the border of the neighborhoods of Taguatinga and Ceilandia, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, July 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazilian health authorities are starting a three-month test of a coronavirus vaccine produced by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac.

Dimas Covas, president of the Butantan Institute coordinating the study, says if the vaccine proves safe and effective, Brazil would receive 120 million doses from China at the beginning of next year and 30 million Brazilians would be vaccinated. I

It’s one of nearly two dozen potential vaccines in various stages of human testing worldwide, and one of a handful entering late-stage testing to prove effectiveness. The federal Ministry of Health on Monday confirmed 632 more deaths from COVID-19 and 20,257 newly confirmed infections.

Brazil has recorded more than 80,000 confirmed deaths and 2 million cases of coronavirus — second in the world in both categories behind the United States.

Brazil is also helping test a vaccine produced in a partnership between Oxford University and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Federal officials on Tuesday authorized tests of a third vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The Sinovac tests on 9,000 volunteers, all health professionals, will be in six Brazilian states. The tests are coordinated by Butantan, a Sao Paulo state scientific institute that’s produced vaccines for more than a century.

Half of the volunteers will receive two doses of vaccine starting this week, the other half will receive a placebo.


Source: Associated Press

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