São Paulo starts trials of Sinovac Biotech Covid-19 vaccine

Clinical trials of CoronaVac, a potential vaccine against the Covid-19 virus developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd of China, begun on Monday in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, Agência Brasil reports.

The Brazilian state-run news agency says 890 volunteers there will receive a first dose of the vaccine, to be followed by a second dose 14 days later.

The report says the vaccine will be tested on about 9,000 people in the states of São Paulo, Rio Janeiro Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais and Paraná, and in and around Brasilia.

The Butantan Institute, the Brazilian biomedical research centre leading the clinical trials, expects to finish them in 90 days, the report says.

The trials are costing 85 million reals (about US$16 million), the news agency says.

If the vaccine proves effective, the Butantan Institute is ready to begin producing early in 2021 over 120 million doses to be given to about 60 million Brazilians, Agência Brasil says.