Government approves third Covid-19 vaccine trials in Brazil

Government approves third Covid-19 vaccine trials in Brazil
Image: Novikov Aleksey/Shutterstock

The National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorized two more prospective Covid-19 vaccines to hold trials in Brazil. Both vaccines (BNT162b1 and BNT162b2) are being developed in a partnership between U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech.

The companies expect to perform phases two (initial human testing) and three (large scale human testing) of the study in Brazil.

On Monday, BioNTech and Pfizer announced positive results from tests on 60 healthy volunteers in Germany, suggesting that the vaccines are safe and capable of triggering immunological responses in patients. Anvisa also confirmed that the current data on both vaccines show they meet the “safety standard for prospective vaccines” in Brazil.

The vaccines use antigen coding from the Covid-19-causing Sars-Cov-2 virus RNA to induce an immunological response in the human body.

The study expects to test 29,000 volunteers worldwide with 5,000 tests expected to be conducted in the Brazilian states of São Paulo and Bahia. BioNTech and Pfizer now join British-Swedish lab AstraZeneca, in partnership with the University of Oxford, and Chinese lab Sinovac Biotech in holding mass Covid-19 vaccine trials in Brazil.

Brazil has become a highly sought-after testing site for prospective vaccines due to its persistently high tallies of cases and deaths — a position that might help the country become one of the first in line to receive the vaccines if proven successful.

Today’s Daily Briefing covered the latest developments from AstraZeneca and Sinovac’s prospective vaccines and where Brazil stands in the race for a vaccine.

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