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Brazil’s Fiocruz begins production of 100% national Covid vaccine this Monday

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Monday, January 10, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) will begin production of a 100% national vaccine against Covid-19. Initially, 20 million doses of the immunizer will be delivered to the Ministry of Health. The plant is prepared to produce 1 million doses per day.

Last Friday, January 7, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) authorized the use of the national Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) in the production of the vaccine against Covid-19 by the foundation.

The foundation expects to deliver 20 million vaccine doses to the Ministry of Health. (photo internet reproduction)

The vaccine production begins with the thawing of the raw material, which was preserved while waiting for approval. This procedure takes 3 days to be completed. The projection is that the whole process, from production to quality control, will take approximately 20 days. In other words, completion should occur during the month of January, so that the first deliveries will be made between February 1 and 4.

Fiocruz is waiting for the results of scientific trials in the UK to determine if it will be able to use the formula to vaccinate children and adolescents. Scientists also want to determine if the vaccine will be adapted to immunize the population against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In Brazil, there are currently clinical trials with new formulations of AstraZeneca’s vaccine – which is produced by Fiocruz. The answers may be forthcoming in the near future. Fiocruz vice-president of Production and Innovation Marco Kriger estimates that, should a new formula be more potent, this indication should come in February. Therefore, it would be possible to produce an adjusted vaccine with national API by March.

Until then, clinical, safety and immune response equivalence trials are being conducted with the current formulation and new vaccine formats. Fiocruz is still waiting for the results of scientific trials in Oxford to understand the impact of the vaccine in children and adolescents.

The foundation’s chairwoman Nísia Trindade confirmed this expectation. “AstraZeneca in the UK has been conducting clinical trials for the pediatric vaccine, so we are waiting for its completion. It is a possibility,” she said.

Therefore, Fiocruz expects to expand the delivery of vaccines to the Ministry of Health should the indication from Europe be positive. The current commitment is to deliver 120 million doses in the first semester. Krieger says that the foundation has the capacity to reach 300 million doses delivered throughout 2022.

This would mean doubling production, as 153.2 million doses were delivered to the federal government in 2021.

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