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Brazil institute says China's Sinovac vaccine safest so far

BEIJING/SAO PAULO : An experimental vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech appeared to be safe in a late-stage clinical trial in Brazil, preliminary results showed on Monday.

Sao Paulo's Butantan Institute, one of Brazil's leading biomedical research centres, which is carrying out the Phase 3 tests, said the two-dose vaccine, called CoronaVac, proved to be safe in a trial so far involving 9,000 volunteers.

But Butantan director Dimas Covas said data on how effective the vaccine is will not be released until the trial is completed on all 13,000 volunteers.

"The first results of the clinical study conducted in Brazil prove that among all the vaccines tested in the country, CoronaVac is the safest, the one with the best and most promising rates," Sao Paulo Governor João Doria told reporters.

The result is only preliminary and researchers will keep monitoring the participants, Professor Covas said.

It is the first set of results of Sinovac's Phase 3 global trials, which are also being conducted in Turkey and Indonesia.

Prof Covas said there were no severe adverse reactions to the vaccine, with 20 per cent of volunteers reporting mild pain from the injection, and 15 per cent headaches after the first dose, dropping to 10 per cent for the second. Less than 5 per cent reported nausea or tiredness, and even fewer, muscle aches.

Sao Paulo state health secretary Jean Gorinchteyn said the vaccine appeared to produce protective anti-bodies. - REUTERS

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