Brazil became Tuesday the first country to launch the tests of phase III of the vaccine chinese Coronavac against the coronavirus, announced to the AFP laboratory Sinovac Biotech.
A woman doctor of 27 years has been the first of 9000 volunteers among the health workers who are going to receive during the next three months of injections of the vaccine in the framework of phase III, the last of the clinical trials prior to registration.
These tests are conducted by the Institute’s public reference Butantan, which must produce 120 million doses at the beginning of 2021 if the results are conclusive.
“I am very happy to be able to participate in this experience, we live in a time unique and historical, and it is this that pushed me to be a part of this project,” said the doctor, whose name has not been revealed for reasons of confidentiality, in a video released by the Hospital of the Clinics of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sao Paulo.
Nearly 20,000 doses of the Coronavac arrived by plane Monday in Sao Paulo will be distributed in 12 centers in this State, the most populated and contaminated Brazil, as well as those of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná and in the capital Brasilia.
Brazil is the second country most affected in the world by the pandemic Covid-19, after the United States: it was taken Monday to the threshold of 80 000 deaths and more than 2.1 million people infected.
Volunteers will receive two doses of the vaccine at 14-day interval. The vaccine by Sinovac is the third to enter the world in phase III clinical trials.
The governor of the State of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, called Tuesday “a historical day” the beginning of the tests in the final phase “of a vaccine most advanced in the world”, during a press conference at the Hospital of the Clinics.
Another vaccine is already in phase III testing in Brazil since the end of June, the one developed by the University of Oxford and the laboratoire british AstraZeneca, the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, also tested in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
This vaccine in the uk has presented encouraging results, generating a “strong immune response”, as another chinese project, the group CanSino Biologics, according to preliminary elements published on Monday by the british medical journal The Lancet.
The health authorities announced Tuesday the approval of clinical tests of phase II and III for two other vaccines anticoronavirus developed by the American Pfizer and the German BioNTech, with 29 000 volunteers, of whom 1000 in Brazil in the States of Sao Paulo and Bahia.
The major laboratories engaged in a race against the clock to develop a vaccine against the covid-19 that resulted in more than 610 000 deaths in the world, and more than 150 projects are in development currently.
Brazil is fertile ground for testing of vaccines because the pandemic is still expanding and the country has a globally acknowledged know-how in terms of immunization.