Brazil-China cooperation on coronavirus vaccine 'win-win arrangement': expert

The cooperation between Brazil and China during the development of a coronavirus vaccine is a "win-win arrangement", a Brazilian expert has said.

An exhibitor shows a 3D model of inactivated COVID-19 vaccine antigen to visitors at the booth of SINOVAC in the special area for public health and epidemic prevention in the comprehensive exhibition area of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)

Dimas Covas, director of the Butantan Institute, a biologic research center and vaccine manufacturer in Sao Paulo, also lauded the creation of an alliance between Chinese company Sinovac Biotech and the Butantan Institute.

"This is not a commercial race but a race for life. It is a win-win arrangement for both Brazil and China, because Coronavac may be the first or one of the first vaccines to be used worldwide," Covas, whose institute is the largest manufacturer of influenza vaccines in the southern hemisphere, told Xinhua in an interview, referring to the coronavirus vaccine from Sinovac Biotech.

"(The Butantan Institute) currently has a factory that produces 160 million doses of vaccines per year. Butantan is a large producer and developer of vaccines. We are also in the final phase of developing the dengue vaccine, a disease that affects Brazil greatly," he added.

China-Brazil cooperation has been strengthened in general in recent years, especially with the opening of a commercial office for the state of Sao Paulo in Shanghai in 2019, which has helped foster the alliance with Sinovac Biotech.

"We need to reduce mortality. This is all we need, to reduce the suffering of all. The world will need vaccines and it will be a challenge that everyone could have (it) in the first half of 2021. This vaccine is the opportunity for an alliance between the Chinese and Brazilian peoples," Covas noted.

Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, a Nasdaq-listed Chinese biopharmaceutical manufacturer, began final-stage trials in July on Coronavac, its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine.