Chinese coronavirus vaccine shows promising results and continuing testing in Brazil

Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine,
NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Chinese company Sinovac Biotech LTD have announced positive results about their COVID-19 vaccine research. The company has been producing and testing their coronavirus vaccine, called CoronaVac.

Vaccine testing is broken up into phases, with each phase introducing more humans to the vaccine. These tests are crucial to the development process and take time to conduct.

Having concluded Phase 1 and 2 research, Sinovac has reported that their vaccine is safe and elicits an immune response. These phases were conducted in China. In more than 90% of volunteers, neutralizing antibodies were produced within 2 weeks of injection after two doses. 143 volunteers took part in the Phase 1 testing, with 600 participating in Phase 2. They were all healthy individuals aged 18-59.

The vaccine, made with a killed version of the coronavirus, hasn’t given anyone a severe reaction. It’s been proven safe to use so far. It’s also among 4 Chinese vaccines that have reached the final phase of testing. This is the most crucial stage as it has the most individuals. It is also the last roadblock preventing a vaccine from mass distribution.

Testing in Brazil

Sinovac has made a deal with Brazilian immunobiologic producer Instituto Butantan to conduct Phase 3 trials in Brazil. In return, Instituto Butantan has the license to the shot in its home country. The testing will take place in the state of Sao Paolo. Sao Paolo governor João Doria has said that “This agreement would allow us to produce at large scale and immunize millions of Brazilians”. These studies are slated to take place in July. 9,000 healthy volunteers will participate in this study. Sao Paulo State University has announced that a vaccine being produced by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford will be in Phase 3 testing during June. 2,000 volunteers will participate in this test.

The coronavirus has infected 874K Brazilians and taken the lives of 43,485 of them. João Doria has also said that “The studies show that the vaccine could be distributed by June 2021”.