Brazil announced on Saturday that it has signed a $ 127 million agreement to start local production of an experimental vaccine developed by AstraZeneca that has shown promise in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is considered to be the first candidate in the world and the most advanced in terms of development to obtain a license to practice and become an official vaccine against the disease, according to the World Health Organization.
The British drug maker is already conducting large-scale human trials of the mid-term vaccine, which was developed by researchers at the University of Oxford.
Elcio Franco, Brazil’s No. 2 public health official, said at a press conference that the country would initially produce some 30 million doses of vaccine, half in December and half in January next year .
Franco said Brazil pays for the vaccine but is aware of the risk, in case the vaccine does not meet all the necessary registration requirements or another vaccine obtains approval sooner.
The vaccine will be produced by Fundacao Osvaldo Cruz of Brazil, also known as Fiocruz, the country’s main public health organization, said Franco.
Brazil is the second country in the world most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 1.2 million cases confirmed on Friday and more than 55,000 deaths.
Right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for this response to the pandemic. He dismissed the severity of the disease and showed indifference to the increase in the number of deaths while promoting treatment using an unproven malaria drug.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)