Brasilia: The Brazilian government said on Wednesday that they plan to use a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine as part of its nationwide immunisation programme against the virus.
This was confirmed by São Paulo Governor João Doria who said that the federal government has agreed to buy some 46 million doses of the vaccine CoronaVac, a BBC report said.
He further said that the immunisation programme would be the first of its kind in the world against COVID-19 and could begin as early as January 2021.
Brazil has been third worst affected country in the world from the coronavirus pandemic in terms of number o cases, after the United States and India.
The country has so far recorded nearly 5.3 million confirmed cases, and is second only to the US in terms of deaths, with nearly 155,000 registered so far.
If the drug is approved by the country’s health regulator, CoronaVac – which is being developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech – will be one of two vaccines included in Brazil’s immunisation programme.
The other vaccine is the one being created by England’s Oxford University and the drug giant AstraZeneca.
Mr Doria has previously touted Sinovac’s experimental vaccine, announcing plans to use it to inoculate residents of São Paulo.
The Chinese vaccine is being tested by São Paulo state’s research centre Butantan Institute.
The institute announced on Monday that the two-dose vaccine appeared to be safe in a late-stage clinical trial.
However, it warned the result was only preliminary, with testing still ongoing. It said data on how effective the vaccine is will not be released till the trial is over.