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Vaccine tests advance

CoronaVac, a vaccine candidate produced by Chinese company Sinovac

Butantan Institute

Developed by researchers at the University of Oxford, UK, and British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, one of the best-known COVID-19 vaccine candidates achieved good results in the first phase of clinical trials. It proved capable of activating and maintaining the production of antibodies and defense cells for 56 days in the bodies of 1,077 volunteers aged 18–55 years (Lancet, July 20). It is not yet known what level of antibodies are needed to ensure effective protection against the novel coronavirus or whether the vaccine induces long-term immunity. The hope is that these questions will be answered in phases 2 and 3 of the clinical trials, to be carried out in several countries, including Brazil. On July 20, the Butantan Institute in São Paulo received its first batches of CoronaVac, a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac. The institute has already started clinical trials of the vaccine to assess its efficacy and safety. The tests will go on for three months, involving 9,000 volunteers from São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraná, and the Federal District. In July, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) authorized trials of two variants of another vaccine candidate in Brazil, developed by Pfizer in the USA and BioNtech in Germany.