The Brazilian state of São Paulo has begun building a facility to produce 100 million doses a year of China’s Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19, reported Reuters. São Paulo’s Governor João Doria said the vaccine will be ready by September next year.
Before the facility is ready, Sao Paulo is importing the vaccine and Doria said the first batch of 120,000 Sinovac vaccines will arrive on Nov. 20 with the state’s Butantan biomedical center receiving a total of 6 million doses by year-end.
The vaccine will only be used once it has been approved by the Brazilian health regulator.
Earlier today, Pfizer and BioNTech said their experimental COVID-19 vaccine (also in trials in the country) was more than 90% effective.
Following that, a representative of the Russian Ministry of Health said today that Sputnik V vaccine is also more than 90% effective, citing data collated from vaccinations of the public rather than from an ongoing trial, reported Reuters. A Brazilian laboratory and a pharmaceutical firm have deals to produce Sputnik V.
Also on Monday, Brazilian VP Hamilton Mourao said that Brazil’s armed forces could help with the logistics and implementation of any COVID-19 vaccination program, but that it is difficult to predict when a vaccine may be available.