Jan 7, 2021 - Health

China's Sinovac coronavirus vaccine 78% effective in Brazil trials

Photo of a masked Joao Doria holding a box of the CoronaVac vaccine during a press conference

São Paulo Gov. Joao Doria holds a box of the CoronaVac vaccine during a press conference. Photo: Alexandre Schneider via Getty Images

A coronavirus vaccine produced by Chinese company Sinovac is 78% effective, Brazil officials announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Regulators in other countries are closely following the Phase 3 trials in Brazil. If the vaccine is approved for use, it could help fill a gap in access to coronavirus vaccines for many low- and middle-income countries.

Details: Brazil’s Butantan Institute, a medical research institute in São Paulo, conducted the study of the vaccine, named CoronaVac, with 12,476 volunteers.

  • The vaccine prevented all participants from developing severe cases of COVID-19, officials said.
  • Brazil has the third-highest number of cases in the world after the U.S. and India, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
  • The Butantan Institute said it will request authorization for emergency use of the vaccine in Brazil, per the Wall Street Journal.
  • Other countries, including Turkey and Indonesia, are also testing the CoronaVac vaccine.

The big picture: Sinovac has already sold over 300 million doses, primarily to low- and middle-income countries, per New York Times.

  • Sinovac says it will be able to produce 600 million doses this year.

Health regulators in China said late last month that they have approved the country's first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, for general use.

  • Sinopharm said that preliminary data have shown the vaccine to be 79.3% effective, though experts have said important data is missing.

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