Oxford vaccine researchers ask for permission to test over 69s in Brazil

. Aug 21, 2020
Oxford vaccine researchers ask for permission to test over 69s in Brazil Photo: Open Art/Shutterstock

Researchers leading the phase three trials of the prospective Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca are awaiting the green light from the Brazilian Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) to begin the next stage of their tests, involving patients over 69.

The clinical trial team is confident, expecting to have positive results proving the vaccine’s efficacy by the end of the year. Almost 4,000 volunteers have already been vaccinated in Brazil, and tests now move on to the over 69 age group, for which researchers are hoping to receive the go ahead by next week.

Need more needles for future vaccine

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry announced the purchase of 120 million syringes and needles for its future Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Eighty million will come from Brazilian manufacturers, with the remainder coming from abroad.

However, Brazil has roughly 210 million inhabitants, meaning that the Health Ministry’s order is far below what the country will need. Last month, countries such as the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada ensured the purchase of enough syringes to vaccinate their entire populations.

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Euan Marshall

Originally from Scotland, Euan Marshall is a journalist who ditched his kilt and bagpipes for a caipirinha and a football in 2011, when he traded Glasgow for São Paulo. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, he authored a comprehensive history of Brazilian soccer entitled “A to Zico: An Alphabet of Brazilian Football.”

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