Sao Paulo, Brazil:
Clinical trials of the CoronaVac coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac have “reached the threshold of effectiveness” required by the World Health Organization, the Brazilian institute in charge of its production and distribution.
However, the Butantan Institute has not published the results of those tests, the last one before authorization.
“We have reached the threshold of effectiveness that allows us to request emergency use,” said the director of Butantan Dimas Covas, the Anvisa regulatory agency of Brazil.
He said a clause of the Sinovac contract insisted that these phase III test results could only be made public once all clinical trials around the world have been 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 doses is continuing in our factory and the immunization campaign will begin as planned on January 25,” said Sao Paulo health secretary Jean Gorinchteyn.
The WHO efficacy threshold is 50%, but other laboratories, such as Pfizer and BioNTech who are collaborating on a vaccine that has already been given to thousands of people in the United States and Britain, have achieved an efficacy of 90. %.
Covas said the federal government will order 100 million doses of CoronaVac, more than double the 46 million initially advertised.
Immunization has been a highly politicized issue in Brazil, where far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly claimed he will not take a vaccine while also attempting to discredit the CoronaVac coup.
The Butantan 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 suffered the second largest number of coronavirus deaths in the world after the United States with 188,000 deaths.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is posted by a syndicated feed.)