Brazil has 1,803 COVID-19 deaths; a Chinese vaccine has been shown to be 50.7 percent successful against the variant.

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Brazil recorded 1,803 new COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, after a major study showed that a Chinese vaccine that has been the cornerstone of the country’s vaccination programme is 50.7 percent successful against the contagious new homegrown strain known as P1.

Brazil, which has recently been the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, recorded over 37,000 new cases on Sunday, according to the Health Ministry. Latin America’s largest population has the world’s second highest coronavirus death toll, after the United States, with over 353,000 deaths.

Owing to a lack of federal controls, a patchy vaccine rollout, and the P1 strain, the epidemic has recently entered its most extreme level.

The Butantan biomedical institute in Sao Paulo, which studied and is now manufacturing the CoronaVac vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd, said on Sunday that a report it conducted showed the shot had a 50.7 percent efficacy rate against the P1 variant and a less common strain known as P2.

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a China hawk and vaccine skeptic who has come under fire for his handling of the outbreak, initially said his government would not buy the Sinovac shot, but later made a U-turn as his government struggled to secure supplies. Since then, the Chinese shot has become the most widely administered one in the country.

Butantan claims that if the second dose is given more than two weeks after, the effectiveness increases to 62.3 percent. According to the company, the vaccine has an effectiveness of between 83.7 percent and 100 percent in stopping sick people from needing medical attention.

The research, which was sent for publication to the medical journal The Lancet, examined 12,400 participants from across Brazil.



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