Brazil is committed to being a ‘guinea pig’ for the Covid-19 vaccine

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec1,2023 #Brazil #committed #Covid
Brazil is committed to being a 'guinea pig' for the Covid-19 vaccine 4
Brazil is committed to being a 'guinea pig' for the Covid-19 vaccine 4

Researchers need to test Covid-19 vaccines in countries with large enough epidemic areas to accurately assess effectiveness.

Besides the US, Brazil is the only country playing a major role in the world’s three most promising Covid-19 vaccine research, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) report on vaccine research progress.

`I am extremely optimistic. Brazil will be one of the first countries in the world to have a Covid-19 vaccine,` according to Dimas Covas, director of the Butantan Institute, a famous Brazilian pharmaceutical manufacturer, with which the company is cooperating.

About 5,000 other Brazilians were also recruited to support the vaccine testing process developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in cooperation with Oxford University.

A nurse injects Sinovac company’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine to volunteers in Porto Alegre city, Brazil, on August 8.

Soraya Smaili, president of the Federal University of Sao Paulo, which supports AstraZeneca and Oxford’s research, said recruiting volunteers for studies being conducted in Brazil is quite easy.

`Volunteers are not too hard to find. Everyone steps forward. Everyone wants to be part of the solution. This is an interesting social movement,` commented Smaili.

Denise Abranches, a dentist who spent months treating Covid-19 patients with mouth sores in intensive care units, was one of the first volunteers.

`I see this as a way to help Brazil regain its leading role in the global scientific community. The world is looking at us to find answers, because the Covid-19 vaccine can benefit everyone.`

Brazil has a global public health system, with one of the best vaccination programs among developing countries, giving it the ability to prevent epidemics like yellow fever and measles.

However, in recent years, the economic downturn has caused programs to have budget cuts.

Therefore, the Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough is expected to revive the country’s vaccination sector.

Besides hoping that Brazilians will become the first people in the world to be vaccinated against Covid-19, health experts are even looking at the possibility of Brazil producing vaccines and exporting them to neighboring countries, from there.

With a population of about 210 million people, Brazil has the capacity to produce about 500 million vaccine doses each year.

Brazil has signed two agreements to get priority access to Covid-19 vaccines, including a commitment between Sinovac and the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo state.

Government officials hope to start Covid-19 vaccination for some Brazilians in the first 6 months of 2021. However, the exact timing depends on the results of ongoing research.

Mauricio Zuma, director of the Bio-Manguinhos Institute, expressed hope that after Brazil resolves its internal conditions, it can export Covid-19 vaccines to neighboring countries that are also struggling with a large number of infections.

Brazil is committed to being a 'guinea pig' for the Covid-19 vaccine

A box of Covid-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac company.

Katherine O’Brien, director of immunization at WHO, welcomed Brazil’s determination to produce Covid-19 vaccines.

`Some countries will be lucky if they sign a contract for a potential vaccine that later proves effective. However, there are countries that will receive nothing if they pursue a deal with a vaccine that eventually ends up being concluded.`

Many experts also assess that Brazil is unlikely to win the race to test the Covid-19 vaccine, when countries around the world are competing to gain access to the vaccine that billions of people will need.

Russia last week also approved a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute and the country’s Ministry of Defense, although it has not yet conducted Phase 3, tested on thousands of people.

Researchers in Brazil also said it is necessary to remind people that positive signals about the country’s role in the global vaccine race will not help end the pain caused by the pandemic here.

`People should not be under the illusion that this is the end of the matter. Brazil still needs to do a lot of work to strengthen its public health infrastructure, thereby reducing the spread of nCoV,` Maria Elena Bottazzi, developer

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