In a press conference this afternoon, São Paulo Governor João Doria declared that CoronaVac — the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech and Brazil’s Instituto Butantan — has achieved better results and lower rates of adverse side effects than any other vaccine trialed in Brazil so far.
The vaccine is considered “safe” by Dimas Covas, president of the Butantan Biological Institute, who said the worst side effects consisted of pain at the injection site (reported by roughly 18 percent of volunteers) and headaches (felt by nearly 15 percent). Just over one-third of patients suffered from at least one collateral effect (35 percent), lower than other potential vaccines being tested in the country. According to data from the Butantan Institute, only 0.1 percent experienced a fever after taking the vaccine, and no grade three side effects (the most severe) were recorded.
With these results, Mr. Doria stated that “it is the safest vaccine not only in Brazil, but in the world.”
The race for a coronavirus vaccine has not only been a geopolitical affair — but has also been a subject of contention between Mr. Doria and President Jair Bolsonaro, who has raised suspicions among his supporters around the “Chinese vaccine.” The Health Ministry has not yet included the CoronaVac in Brazil’s federal 2021 vaccination calendar.
Correction: a previous version of this post called the Chinese lab producing CoronaVac “Sinopharma,” instead of Sinovac Biotech.Support this coverage →