Brazil approves emergency use of Chinese Sinovac, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

SAO PAULO, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) unanimously approved on Sunday the emergency use of the CoronaVac vaccine, from the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, as well as the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford vaccine against COVID-19.

The decision will allow the Brazilian government to start its vaccination plan against COVID-19 with 6 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine, developed by Sinovac in conjunction with the Butantan Institute of Sao Paulo.

"The moment is for awareness, unity, and work. There is only one enemy. Our chance, our best chance in this war is, necessarily, for a change in social behavior, without which, even with vaccines, victory will not be achieved," said the director-president of Anvisa, Antonio Barra Torres.

Torres led the Anvisa leadership meeting, broadcast live on television, which gave the decision after analyzing the emergency registration requests for the two coronavirus vaccines.

Brazil is second in the world in the number of deaths from COVID-19, with 209,296 deaths as of Saturday, and third in the world in the number of cases, with more than 8.4 million infections reported.

The governor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, wrote on Twitter, "Brazil is in a hurry to save lives."

Doria followed the Anvisa vote at the Hospital de Clinicas, the largest public medical center in Latin America, according to his press office.

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