Study suggests CoronaVac is efficient against Amazon variant

CoronaVac efficient Amazon variant
Syringes used for vaccine rollouts in Apucarana, Paraná. Photo: Jair Ferreira Belafacce/Shutterstock

A new study on nearly 68,000 health workers in Amazonian city Manaus suggests that the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine is 50-percent effective against the P.1 coronavirus variant. The mutation was first detected in the Amazon region, which has seen not one, but two health collapses in the past 12 months.

Scientist Julio Croda, who coordinated the study, said results are “encouraging,” especially as Brazil has relied on the CoronaVac more than any other immunizer so far. 

Mr. Croda highlighted the importance of speeding up vaccine rollouts to avoid the rise of new mutations. A recent research paper identified 11 new mutations in a handful of patients — suggesting that more transmissive versions of the virus could become prevalent if immunization remains sluggish.