Sinovac´s Covid-19 vaccine, under testing and to be administered in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, could reach other of the South American country´s regions, according to officials.
João Dória, governor of the Brazilian state of São Paulo told a press conference this week that the Chinese laboratory´s vaccine, called Coronavac, is proving succesful in the various testing phases and should be available starting next month.
“We are negotiating with the Brazilian Government to buy 40 million more doses for Brazilians from other regions of the country, so that all Brazilians can be vaccinated at the same time,” he added.
The state of São Paulo bought 60 million doses of the vaccine, which will be applied if testing proves effectiveness against Covid-19.
“We will have five million [doses] delivered in October, 46 million [doses] by December 31 and the rest of these doses, the other nine million, over the period from January to February, totaling 60 million doses,” he said Doria.
The governor said the first groups, made up of health professionals, could be vaccinated in December.
“We should, of course, wait for the completion of the third and final testing phase and its results and the approval of Anvisa (pharmaceutical regulator), but as early as December, in the second half of the year, we will be able to start immunization according to vaccination criteria adopted by the Health Department of state of São Paulo and within the protocol of the Ministry of Health ”, said Doria.
According to Doria, Coronavac proved the safety of the immunizer for 94, 7% of the more than 50 thousand volunteers.
“The results of clinical studies conducted in China show a low rate of only 5.3% of adverse effects and of low severity, most of these cases presented only pain at the site of the vaccine application,” he added.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health, in turn, has a contract for manufacturing, at Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the vaccine under development by pharma company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
According to Doria, the Brazilian Government agreed to fund with 80 million reais (12.3 million euros) a new factory being developed by the Butantan Institute, now with the participation of Brazil´s Ministry of Health.
Coronavac tests started in Brazil on July 21, in a partnership between the Chinese laboratory and the Butantan Institute, an organ linked to the regional government of São Paulo, which and has signed an agreement with Sinovac that will allow it to manufacture Coronavac in the country if the immunization proves to be efficient.
Asked about the effectiveness of the immunizing agent, the director of the Butantan Institute, Dimas Covas, said that in addition to reporting that there were no side effects, more data is needed on the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“As of October 15, we can see the results on the effectiveness that would allow the vaccine to be registered with the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa)”, Covas explained.
Clinical trials of Coronavac have shown “extremely positive” results, and a widespread vaccination campaign could begin as early as December, the governor of São Paulo state has previously said.