Brazil will produce an experimental vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca against Covid-19, which shows promising results in ongoing tests, the Brazilian government revealed this Saturday.
According to the announcement by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the country will pay 127 million dollars and receive material to produce 30.4 million doses in two batches, in December and January, allowing it to start inoculation efforts if the vaccine will be certified as safe and effective.
“This country has a vast experience in extremely fast vaccination”, noted the Secretary of Sanitary 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 tests on humans were started by British researchers in May – will be given to groups considered to be at high risk, namely the elderly, people with comorbidities and health and safety professionals.
Tests of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca started in Brazil last weekend, more precisely in the state of São Paulo, following the approval of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), responsible for inspecting tests and medicines in the country. Brazil.
The initiative is led by the Reference Center for Special Immunobiologicals (CRIE) of the Federal University of Sao Paulo (Unifesp) and has the financial support of the Lemann Foundation, maintained and created by the Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, with the objective of testing the vaccine in a group of 2,000 people in Brazil to assess 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 which 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 on the rise, 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, committing to invest up to 1.2 billion dollars in the project. On June 13, AstraZeneca agreed to supply up to 400 million doses of the experimental vaccine to the nations of the European Union, in addition to other negotiations with more countries, such as Russia and Japan.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 494,000 deaths and infected more than 9.82 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.