There appears a ray of hope in the fight against Covid-19 as the Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP) revealed that researchers in Brazil have begun to administer an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University to volunteers – to be made available in South Africa after Britain.
The vaccine, known as, Known ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is being tested on volunteers in Britain, and is due to start being administered this week in South Africa, as well.
Brazil was selected because it has the second-highest caseload and death toll worldwide after the United States, with about 1,192,474 million people infected and 52,873 killed as at June 25.
As the different stakeholders across the world race at a fast pace to invent a durable solution to the coronavirus pandemic, this vaccine, is acclaimed as one of the most promising of the dozens out there. It was developed together with pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca.
UNIFESP coordinatES the study in Brazil and said its researchers had begun issuing the first doses Tuesday to doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers. Also, health workers with a high likelihood of coming into contact with the coronavirus will receive the vaccine.
Reports confirmed from the university said researchers “began triaging volunteers Saturday … following the protocols established for the study. Participants must test negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Starting Tuesday, volunteers with a negative blood test were administered the vaccine.”
Additional condition for administration is that: volunteers must be between 18 and 55 years old and work “on the front line” of the pandemic at the Sao Paulo-UNIFESP Hospital”.
Brazil was close to signing a contract to be able to produce the vaccine domestically, according to the acting health minister, Eduardo Pazuello.
The vaccine will be administered to 2,000 volunteers in all in Brazil.
Oxford university disclosed that more than 4,000 participants are enrolled in the clinical trial in Britain, plus 10,000 due to be recruited.