Brazil signed a $127 million agreement to start producing an experimental vaccine developed by researchers at Oxford University that has shown promise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the vaccine, produced by British drugmaker AstraZeneca, is considered the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development to become an official vaccine against the infection.
AstraZeneca is already carrying out large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine, which was developed by researchers at Oxford University, according to Reuters.
Élcio Franco, deputy official at the Brazilian Ministry of Health, said in a press conference that the country will initially produce some 30 million doses of the vaccine, half by December and half by January of next year.
Franco said Brazil is paying for the vaccine but is aware of the risk, in case the vaccine does not pass all necessary licensure requirements or another vaccine obtains approval faster.
In Brazil, the vaccine will be produced by Fundação Osvaldo Cruz (Fiocruz).