Brazil health regulator reports ‘serious event’ in final Covid vaccine test stage

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The country’s health regulator, Anvisa, has said the adverse event is not related to the vaccine, which is developed by Janssen. Brazil’s death toll has now passed 200,000 as new daily cases accelerated to a record of 87,843.

The agency said the trial will not have to be suspended as they were no longer recruiting new volunteers.

Brazil does has efficacy trials underway of a COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Yesterday, Brazilian researchers reported a vaccine made by a Chinese company, Sinovac, was safe and had 78 percent efficacy in a study of more than 12,000 health care workers.

Governor João Doria added that Phase 2 trials of the vaccine had shown an immune response of 98 percent in the elderly.

Gonzalo Vecina, one of the founders of Brazil’s health agency, said the data revealed so far is reassuring enough to approve the shot for emergency use.

“In a general picture, we do have sufficient information to move on to register and use it,” he said. 

“We need 320 million vaccines for 160 million Brazilians, that’s our population above 18 years of age. 

“If the federal government doesn’t do it, the state governments will, but we have to do it fast. 

“We are already behind a lot of nations.”

Eduardo Pazuello, Brazil’s health minister, said the Bolsonaro administration would buy up to 100 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine.

“These shots will be distributed equally and proportionally among all states, as will happen to the AstraZeneca ones,” he said.

Of the vaccine, Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, said: “No one can force a person to take something whose consequences are yet unknown.”

Mr Bolsonaro has insisted he will not take the vaccine himself.

Brazil has the third highest number of infections globally after the US and India.

This week, cases rose by 1,524 in the last 24 hours to a Toal of 200,498.

Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro has consistently argued the country faces a greater risk from economic damage of lockdowns.

Mr Bolsonaro – who became ill from the virus – said of the milestone: “There’s no use in keeping that old story of staying home and the economy we will see later.

“That won’t work, it will be chaos in Brazil.

“It could lead to even more dramatic consequences than those of the virus.”

This is a breaking story. More to follow…

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