Sao Paulo, Brazil:
Clinical studies with the CoronaVac coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac have “reached the threshold of effectiveness required by the World Health Organization,” said the Brazilian institute on Wednesday.
However, the Butantane Institute did not publish the results of these studies – the last before approval.
“We have reached the effectiveness threshold that enables us to apply for an emergency application,” said Butasan director Dimas Covas of the Brazilian regulatory authority Anvisa.
He said a clause in the Sinovac contract insists that these Phase III test results cannot be released until all clinical trials worldwide are completed.
In Brazil, 13,000 volunteers took part in the trials, which were also carried out in Turkey, Indonesia and China.
“Our entire program remains unchanged. The production of cans will continue in our factory and the vaccination campaign is expected to start on January 25,” said Sao Paulo State Minister of Health Jean Gorinchteyn.
The WHO’s threshold for effectiveness is 50 percent, but other laboratories like Pfizer and BioNTech, who are collaborating on a vaccine that has been given to thousands of people in the US and UK, have achieved 90 percent effectiveness.
Covas said the federal government will order 100 million CoronaVac cans, more than double the 46 million originally published.
Vaccination has been a heavily politicized issue in Brazil, on which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly stated that he will not take a vaccine while he has also tried to discredit the CoronaVac surge.
The Butantane Institute is backed by the State of Sao Paulo, whose governor Joao Doria has repeatedly clashed with Bolsonaro over the country’s coronavirus response and is expected to challenge the incumbent in the 2022 presidential election.
Brazil has suffered the second highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world after the US, with 188,000 deaths.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)