Brazil approves AstraZeneca, Sinovac vaccines for emergency use

Jan. 18, 2021

Brazil's Health regulator, Anvisa, has granted approval for the emergency use of AstraZeneca and Sinovac Biotech vaccines against COVID-19.

Minutes after Anvisa met Sunday evening, Sao Paulo, the country’s most populous state and financial center, began vaccinations with the Sinovac shot. A national vaccination campaign is scheduled to begin throughout Brazil on Wednesday morning.

Brazil, which currently ranks third globally in COVID cases and second only to the U.S. in number of deaths, has been criticized for falling behind in the vaccination race.

According to Bloomberg, Sinovac’s shot, previously publicly criticized by President Bolsonaro because of its Chinese origin, is the only vaccine option currently available in Brazil. The only other vaccine the government has purchased, from AstraZeneca, is not yet available in the country.

Sinovac's vaccine is being made in partnership with local research institute Butantan. AstraZeneca has partnered with state-run Fiocruz institute who will fill-and-finish the vaccine, and eventually produce it entirely.

Read more about the pharma industry in Brazil