In the race to contain the advance of the pandemic, mass vaccination carried out in other countries, such as Israel and the United States, has already proved to be one of the most efficient strategies to reduce the numbers of new cases and deaths caused by Covid-19.
Brazil, which started immunization in January with doses imported from other countries, announced last Thursday (26) an important step in mass vaccination. According to the Ministry of Health and the Butantan Institute, scientists are developing national vaccines, the Versamune it’s at Butanvac, which will go through the testing phases after the release of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).
The national immunizer, which should be available only in 2022, has the protein spike from the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which generates an immune response that prevents the Covid-19 infectious agent from connecting to the cells of the body.
The vaccine is expected to be available in two doses, with an interval of 21 days between them. Pre-clinical tests, conducted on mice, revealed an excellent immune response at two doses, with 98% of rodents uninfected after vaccination. There was no death among the animals that ended up contracting Sars-CoV-2.
The project, which is being monitored by the Ministry of Health and financed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), was filed with the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) to carry out a phase 1 and 2 study, which consist of carrying out tests on 360 volunteers.
Last Thursday (26), the Institute announced that it will request the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorization to start in April a phase 1 and 2 clinical trial of the new vaccine.
According to the Institute, the vaccine will be produced entirely in Brazil, without depending on imports.
The medical director of clinical research at the Butantan Institute, Ricardo Palacios, stressed that the new vaccine will have a high safety profile. “We know how to produce ButanVac, we have the technology for that and we know that inactivated vaccines are effective against Covid-19. Being able to deliver more vaccines is what we need at such a critical time, ”he explains.
According to the Institute, the development of ButanVac will not affect Butantan’s partnership with Sinovac, nor will it change the schedule for sending inputs from China to CoronaVac – a vaccine that is currently produced by the institute against Covid-19.
According to the president of Butantan, Dimas Covas, the technology used at ButanVac is a way to take advantage of the knowledge acquired with the development of CoronaVac.
For Covas, it will be possible to deliver the Brazilian vaccine to the population later this year. “After the end of the Influenza vaccine production campaign, which ends in May, we can start production of ButanVac immediately. Currently, our factory fills Influenza and CoronaVac. We are in full swing, ”says the president.
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