Brazil’s Butantan Institute has developed its own Covid-19 vaccine, which it plans to roll out in the coming months and offer to low income countries to help fight the pandemic. This is reported by Bloomberg.
Sao Paulo-based Butantan, which has partnered with China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. to produce the CoronaVac shot, will begin trials for its own vaccine ButanVac with plans to have supplies ready by July, the institute’s director Dimas Covas said at a press conference.
Butantan, Latin America’s biggest vaccine maker, has faced problems to import certain components to produce coronavirus shots and hopes to resolve hurdles by manufacturing everything locally. Tests could start in April pending regulatory approval, Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said at the press conference.
The plan is to begin mass production in May to have 40 million shots ready in July. Production would be fully focused on meeting local demand first before opening for exports to other countries as well. Phase 1 and 2 trials should be held simultaneously, followed by a phase 3. Tests will also be held in Thailand and Vietnam.
“The pandemic may be kept under control in North America and Europe, but in Africa, Latin America and poor Asian countries, it will remain,” Covas said, flanked by Doria. “We need vaccines for those countries. That’s where we need to fight the epidemic to be successfully globally.”