COVID-19 Vaccine Study in Brazil
Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa has approved clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by researchers at University of Oxford in the UK and supported by AstraZeneca.
The Phase III trial will assess the safety and efficacy of the vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.
Anvisa was quoted by Reuters as saying: “This is a randomised controlled phase III study to determine the safety, efficacy … of the non-replicating ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.
“Initial non-clinical studies in animals and Phase I clinical studies in humans to evaluate the safety of the vaccine were carried out in England and the results demonstrated that its safety profile was acceptable.”
Developed by Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group at Oxford University, the Covid-19 vaccine candidate is based on an adenovirus vaccine vector and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
Upon vaccination, the surface spike protein is generated, which induces the immune system to attack SARS-CoV-2 if the virus later infects the body.
The university started enrolment of healthy volunteers for a clinical trial of the vaccine in the UK in March this year. The trial is designed to enrol up to 510 participants aged 18 to 55 years.
During the study, the vaccine candidate’s safety and ability to induce an immune response will be assessed. Results from the trial are expected next month, with plans to start late-stage trials by the middle of this year.
AstraZeneca signed an agreement with the university in April to develop and distribute the vaccine candidate.
As part of the agreement, AstraZeneca will carry out the development and global manufacturing and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Current Situation in Latin America – Facing COVID-19
Brazil and Mexico reported record daily coronavirus death tolls as governments in South America battled to fortify defences against the pandemic with fresh lockdown orders and curfews.
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that at least 100,000 infections were officially reported worldwide for each of the last five days, adding the Americas bore much of the brunt.
Mexico on Wednesday announced more than 1,000 deaths in a day for the first time, while Brazil reported a record 1,349 daily deaths.
The clinical trial for a vaccine conducted by experts at the University of Oxford will soon recruit 2,000 volunteers in Brazil The university said that on Tuesday, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency approved the inclusion of Brazil in the clinical trials.
Scientists are resuming Covid-19 trials of the now world-famous drug hydroxychloroquine, as confusion continues to reign about the anti-malarial hailed by US President Donald Trump as a potential “game-changer” in fighting the pandemic. It follows widespread criticism of the quality of data in a study in The Lancet which found high risks associated with the treatment.
Covid-19 continued to take a toll on US jobs, with another 1.9 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits, taking the number of those rendered jobless by the pandemic to cross 42 million. Layoffs have slowed down from the peak of 6.6 million in April, as all the 50 states have reopened.