The Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil, said in a statement its researchers had begun issuing the first doses of an experimental Coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday to health workers, according to AFP.
The vaccine will be administered to 2,000 volunteers in all in Brazil.
The selected workers are those with a high likelihood of coming into contact with the new coronavirus, including doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers.
Front-line workers will therefore be the first eligible to participate in a vaccine trial underway in Brazil, the world’s second hardest-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic after the United States.
Researchers in Brazil began administering an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University to volunteers, the Federal University of Sao Paulo said Wednesday.
According to AFP, the vaccine, developed together with pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca, is one of the most promising of the dozens that researchers worldwide are racing to test and bring to market.
Known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, it is already being tested in volunteers in Britain, and is due to start being administered this week in South Africa, as well– AFP.
Brazil’s acting health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, said on Tuesday Brazil was close to signing a contract which would enable the country produce the vaccine domestically.
According to AFP, Britain has more than 4,000 participants enrolled in the clinical trial, with another 10,000 due to be recruited.
Brazil is one of the countries hardest hit by the Coronavirus. The country has the second-highest caseload and death toll worldwide after the United States, with more than 1.1 million people infected and 52,000 killed so far.