Brazil’s first COVID-19 vaccine ready for human trials.
Image Credit: REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto
On Friday, Brazil’s Butantan biomedical institute started human trials on a potential COVID-19 vaccine.The ButanVac vaccine, as it is being called, will be the first vaccine developed in Brazil. Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said that inoculations using this vaccine are expected to start in July this year, a very optimistic timeline, when most vaccines took around one year between creation to eventual use in countries.
The company charged in producing the vaccine, Butantan, is aiming to produce around 40 million doses till July, with the production starting in May. The governor is expecting 100 millon doses by the end of this year. Sao Paulo Governor Doria said that the vaccine will protect against the P1 variant that emerged from Manaus a few months ago, and is currently devastating Brazilian hospitals all around the country.
The virus is ravaging Brazil, with hospitals collapsing under the current surge of new cases. Earlier this year, the city of Manaus located in the north of Brazil, shocked the world, when they announced that they ran out of oxygen, and a lot of COVID-19 positive patients died due to suffocation. Other regions of Brazil sent help, but little did it alarm other regions of Brazil to step up their game, and get their act together. The devastation in Manaus soon spread to the whole country, making Brazil the worst hit in the World by the daily number of cases.
Without doubt, most are blaming Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for the current situation. He kept downplaying the virus, and told the country to ‘stop whining’ about the surge in deaths. His constant disbelief in the virus’ devastating effects has created a whole chaos, and the President still considers it as a ‘little flu‘ despite the 307,112 deaths since the pandemic began, and 3,386 new cases today. The President also criticized several governors and mayors for doing their job to contain the virus, when they introduced containment measures. He opposed the shutting down of industries and mask wearing. The President is unfortunately so focused on the economy, that clearly he lost any regard for the surge in deaths. In a TV interview Bahia Governor Rui Costa said that Bolsonaro is an
Ally to the virus and the country’s wave of deaths.Bahia Governor Rui Costa .
According to Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria , the ButanVac vaccine is ‘the response to those that deny the science and life’, clearly referring to President Jair Bolsonaro. Doria is expected to run for election against Bolsonaro for the Presidency in the 2022 election.