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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.

Go deeper...The challenge of 2021: Vaccinating the world

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

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