Preliminary data indicates Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine effective against Brazilian P1 variant: official

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination, in Curitiba

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Preliminary data from a study in Brazil indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd is effective against the P1 variant of the virus first discovered in Brazil, Sao Paulo’s state governor Joao Doria said on Wednesday.

Doria’s comments at a news conference in Sao Paulo confirm a Reuters report from earlier this week, which said the study had tested the blood of vaccinated people against the Brazilian variant of the virus. Coronavac, as the Sinovac shot is known, is the main vaccine currently being used to inoculate people in Brazil.

Dimas Covas, head of research institute Butantan, which is manufacturing the Sinovac vaccine, said other tests in China have indicated effectiveness against the UK and South Africa variants.

Butantan has already delivered 16 million doses of the vaccine to Brazil’s Ministry of Health, which has acquired 4 million doses from India of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever in Brasilia and Eduardo Simoes in Sao Paulo)

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