Society

Brazil's Butantan Institute calls early reports on CoronaVac efficacy "mere speculation"

The statement followed a report from WSJ saying that China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine proved to be effective in Brazil trials

Photo: Public Photos/GOVESP
  • WSJ reported on Monday that the COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese Sinovac Biotech’s has shown efficacy rate higher than 50% in late-stage trials in Brazil;
  • However, Butantan Institute, the Brazilian public health entity handling trials for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech said in a note after WSJ report that any statements on the efficacy of the shot before its December 23 announcement were “mere speculation”;
  • Brazil’s Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria said in a press conference that the state will receive 5.5 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s Coronavac vaccine on December 24, and expects to have a total of 10.8 million doses by December 31.

The COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese Sinovac Biotech‘s has shown efficacy rate higher than 50% in late-stage trials in Brazil, first reported the Wall Street Journal on Monday, citing unnamed sources involved in the vaccine’s development.

Sinovac and AstraZeneca‘s vaccine applicants may be available for use in Brazil around the middle of February, the Brazilian health minister said last week.

Brazil is the first country to conclude late-stage trials of Sinovac’s vaccine, CoronaVac, which is also being tested in Indonesia and Turkey, WSJ reported. According to the Journal, the results from the Brazil trials placed CoronaVac above the 50% threshold that international scientists consider necessary to protect people.

READ ALSO: Colombia to receive 1.7 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in February: Reuters

However, Butantan Institute, the Brazilian public health entity handling trials for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech said in a note after WSJ report that any statements on the efficacy of the shot before its December 23 announcement were “mere speculation.”

“The Butantan Institute clarifies that the results of the vaccine’s effectiveness will only be presented on December 23rd. Any information about the index before that date is merely speculation,” said the institute.

READ ALSO: J&J’s Latam COVID vaccine trial, a rush to recruit is followed by disappointment: Reuters

São Paulo should receive 10.8 million doses of Coronavac

This Monday, Brazil’s Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria said in a press conference that the state will receive 5.5 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s Coronavac vaccine on December 24, and expects to have a total of 10.8 million doses by December 31. The information is from news agency Reuters.

Doria restated the government plans to start its vaccination campaign on January 25 in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state. The Coronavac vaccine has not been formally approved by Brazilian health agency Anvisa yet.

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