November 23, 20 - 10:05 am - LABS

Brazil is likely to sign letters of intent to purchase five vaccines against COVID-19; AstraZeneca reports 90% effectiveness

The Brazilian Ministry of Health said on Sunday that had meetings with five laboratories that develop vaccines to purchase them, including Pfizer, the only pharmaceutical company with the final trials phase completed. According to O Estado de São Paulo, the Ministry said that letters of intent for the acquisition of doses would be signed with all of them.

The Coronavac vaccine, which in Brazil is a partnership between the Chinese laboratory Sinovac and the Butantan Institute (an institute that belongs to the Sao Paulo state government), however, was not included in these meetings.

In October, the Brazilian Ministry of Health signed an agreement to pay BRL 1.9 billion for 46 million doses of the Chinese vaccine. On the following day, however, President Jair Bolsonaro, who has political disagreements with the governor of Sao Paulo, João Doria, said that the agreement was canceled.

The only vaccine already ordered by the Brazilian government is the one by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. This vaccine has shown a 90% efficacy in late-stage trials, according to results disclosed this Monday.

“Positive high-level results from an interim analysis of clinical trials of AZD1222 in the UK and Brazil showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing COVID-19, the primary endpoint, and no hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine. There were a total of 131 COVID-19 cases in the interim analysis”, said AstraZeneca in a press statement.

AstraZeneca will now immediately prepare the official submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval of vaccines. The company will seek an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization (WHO) for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries. The full analysis of the interim results is being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal in parallel.