To speed up the third and final phase of the ongoing CoronaVac vaccine study, the State of São Paulo announced on Friday (23) the creation of six new research centers for testing the immunizer against COVID-19. In order to reach more volunteers, the initiative helps to prove the safety and efficacy of the vaccine under development by the Butantan Institute, in partnership with the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac.
“The vaccine, which is the theme of the moment, is the protection of life and a right for all Brazilians. In the case of the pandemic, the vaccine is the only way for the full resumption of the economy, face-to-face education, events for the general public, tourism and the return to normality ”, said Governor João Doria on the importance of testing during a press conference press release.
Why expand CoronaVac testing?
CoronaVac’s new testing centers will be supervised by researchers from the Instituto de Infectologia Emílio Ribas. As for their distribution, four will be installed in hospitals on the outskirts of the capital, where the rate of contamination by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been shown to be higher than in the central neighborhoods. In addition to these, two others will be in the ABC region, which already has the Municipal University of São Caetano do Sul as a testing site.
Thus, the government seeks to increase the number of health professionals – this is because the clinical study is limited to these professionals – who participate in tests with CoronaVac. So far, 9,039 people have volunteered for this survey and are divided into seven states. With the new centers, the focus is on expanding to 13,000 volunteers in 22 research sites. This expansion is already authorized by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).
“With the opening of these centers, we will gain speed so that this demonstration of effectiveness can appear as soon as possible. We expect this to happen in November or mid-December, ”commented Dimas Covas, the director of Instituto Butantan, during the same press conference.
According to the government, it is still necessary that at least 61 participants who have received the vaccine (and not the placebo) are contaminated by the coronavirus. From this sample, there will be a comparison with the total of those who received the vaccine and, eventually, also received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. This is because the study is double-blind, that is, part of the volunteers receives CoronaVac and the other takes a placebo drug (without effect).
Vaccine against COVID-19
– Butantan Institute (@butantanoficial) October 22, 2020
In addition to the Oxford vaccine, CoronaVac is a great national bet to fight COVID-19, which has already killed more than 155,000 Brazilians. In its formula, the immunizer is composed of fragments of inactivated coronavirus (when the virus is “dead”) and the complete immunization is done in two doses, according to preliminary research.
In addition to being a partner in the development of the vaccine, Butantan has an agreement to transfer technology and purchase 46 million doses of the immunizing agent for vaccination. Even on Thursday (22), the institute presented the label for this potential vaccine against COVID-19. If the immunizer reaches the necessary levels of efficacy and safety in this last stage, the researchers will be able to send the data obtained for evaluation by Anvisa, the body responsible for authorizing its use, and start vaccination campaigns against the coronavirus.
Source: Agência Brasil and the Government of SP
Did you like this article?
Subscribe your email to Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.