The first doses of the vaccine against the new coronavirus developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac began to be applied this Tuesday to a group of volunteers, health professionals from the Hospital of the Clinics of Sao Paulo.
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“Today is a historic day” because “we have just attended the application of the CoronaVac vaccine in the first volunteer, a doctor from the Hospital de las Clínicas,” the largest public hospital complex in Latin America, said the governor at a press conference from the state of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria.
In an action coordinated by the Butantan Institute, the main immunological reference center in Brazil, and the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac, responsible for the production, the vaccine began to be tested today in 890 officials of the Hospital de las Clínicas, although the forecast is to test it in about 9,000 health professionals, the union most exposed to the virus.
The procedure includes the application of placebo to half of the volunteers, although they will not be notified about the component that has been supplied to them.
However, the Government of São Paulo estimates that the third phase of the study, which is the last before its approval, may be concluded in a period of 90 days and, if it is effective, the manufacture of the vaccine in Brazil could begin early from 2021.
“During the next three months the volunteers will be accompanied by a scientific team, accompanied even by international supervisors due to the fact that this is one of the most advanced vaccines in the world that enters the third phase, having already passed phases 1 and 2 with great success, ”said Doria.
For the president of the Butantan Institute, Dimas Covas, this Tuesday is also a “historic and joyous day” because the state of Sao Paulo “is showing Brazil and the world how to proceed” in a country with many dimensions and “heterogeneity ” like this.
He Hospital de las Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) It is the coordinating center for the clinical study, which will be progressively carried out in another 11 centers in six Brazilian states.
“This is a fundamental step in dealing with COVID-19. In addition to being the main center of attention to serious patients with the disease in the country and with various research protocols, now our professionals will also be able to help with clinical tests on the vaccine “, explained Esper Kallás, professor of Infectious and Parasitic Disorders of the USP.
Initially, the São Paulo government had announced that the tests of the Chinese vaccine would begin on Monday, but due to the delay in the release of the doses it was postponed until Tuesday.
From a plane that took off from Frankfurt, Germany, a total of 20,000 doses of the CoronaVac they landed the day before at the Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo.
Other vaccines on Brazil’s radar
This is the second vaccine that, being in the third phase of the study, is being tested in Brazil, where the pandemic has already caused more than 80,000 deaths and 2.1 million infections.
In mid-June, clinical trials of the vaccine created by the Oxford University, in the United Kingdom, which will be tested on a total of 5,000 Brazilians.
And this Tuesday, the local regulatory agency Anvisa authorized a third clinical trial to study two new types of vaccines against coronavirus.
These are two vaccines that are being developed by the biotechnology company BioNTech and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and that are intended to be tested in 29,000 volunteers around the world, 5,000 of them in Brazil.
In a statement, the regulatory body reported that the results obtained so far by these two new candidates demonstrated an “acceptable safety profile.”
According to Anvisa, the initiation of tests on human beings in Brazil now depends on the approval of the body of the Ministry of Health responsible for the ethical evaluation of clinical research, Conep, as well as on the researchers’ own internal organization for the recruitment of volunteers.
With information from EFE