The Butantan Institute, one of Brazil’s leading biomedical research centres, will spend 85 million reals (about US$17.1 million) on trying out a Chinese vaccine against the Covid-19 virus on 9,000 Brazilian volunteers, Agência Brasil reports, quoting Governor João Doria of the state of São Paulo.
The Brazilian state-run news agency quotes Mr Doria as saying on Thursday that the trials are the outcome of an agreement by the institute and developer of the vaccine, Sinovac Biotech Ltd of China.
Mr Doria said that if the vaccine proved effective, it could be mass-produced in São Paulo, starting from the first half of next year, and administered to millions of Brazilians free of charge.
The report, citing a written statement by Sinovac Biotech, says the Chinese company is building a facility in China to make 100 million doses of the vaccine a year.
Agência Brasil quotes Sinovac Biotech President Yin Weidong as saying:
“We hope to work with Instituto Butantan to help the people of Brazil.”