Today at 22:26
Brazil will produce an experimental vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca against covid-19, which presents promising results in ongoing tests.
According to the announcement of the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the country will pay US$127 million and receive material to produce 30.4 million doses in two batches in December and January, allowing it to begin inoculation efforts if the vaccine is certified as safe and effective.
“This country has extensive experience in extremely rapid vaccination,” noted Secretary of Health Surveillance Arnaldo Correia de Medeiros, praising the country’s public health system.
The total agreement provides for the production of 100 million doses by the Brazilian vaccine manufacturer Fiocruz. The priority of administering the vaccine – whose human trials were initiated by British researchers in May – will be given to groups considered high risk, including the elderly, people with comorbidities and health and safety professionals.
The tests of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca began in Brazil last weekend, more precisely in the state of São Paulo, following the approval of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), responsible for supervising tests and medicines in Brazil.
The initiative is led by the Reference Center for Special Immunobiologicals (CRIE) of the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) and has the financial support of the Lemann Foundation, maintained and created by Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, aiming to test the vaccine in a group of 2,000 people in Brazil to evaluate immunization against SARS-CoV-2.
The results of the tests, according to Unifesp, will be essential for the registration of the vaccine in the United Kingdom, scheduled for the end of this year and that will depend on the completion of the studies carried out in all participating countries.
Brazil, which is the second most affected country in the world by the covid-19 pandemic and where infections by the new coronavirus are still increasing, already accounts for more than 1.27 million confirmed cases and 55,961 deaths.
The United States of America also announced on May 21 the agreement for at least 300 million doses of this vaccine, pledging to invest up to US$1.2 billion in the project. On June 13, AstraZeneca agreed to provide up to 400 million doses of the experimental vaccine to European Union nations, and further negotiations with more countries such as Russia and Japan are ongoing.
The covid-19 pandemic has claimed more than 494,000 lives and affected more than 9.82 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by French news agency AFP.