Argentina will manufacture a vaccine against the coronavirus (.)

The national government announced this afternoon that a vaccine against the coronavirus will be produced in Argentina. It will be that of the AstraZeneca laboratory, investigated by scientific teams from the Oxford University and whose cycle -still in phase 3- is not finished.

At a press conference, President Alberto Fernández announced that will be ready to be used in the first half of 2021 and that its cost will be between 3 and 4 dollars. In addition, he said that the goal is to manufacture between 250 and 350 million doses to be distributed throughout Latin America but with one exception: Brazil.

The head of state maintained that Argentina was elected because “They found a laboratory with the capacity and aptitude to carry out this production. They have announced that they hope to carry out a production with a floor of 150 and a ceiling of 250 million doses, calculating that Latin America will need about 230 million doses, not counting Brazil, which has an agreement with another development ”.

President Alberto Fernandez during today’s announcement (Franco Fafasuli)

The reason for the exception of Brazil is precisely that the neighboring country is another of those that will also produce the Oxford vaccine against COVID-19. This was announced last Saturday, when he announced that expects to start mass production in December.

Reportedly BioManguinhos, the institute for the production of immunobiologicals of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the main medical research center in Latin America, will pack, label and pack the first doses. Then, in a second stage, you will make the viral concentrate.

“We are working on two fronts and the first is the final processing, which is from the receipt of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, which is the vaccine concentrate and will arrive frozen. Here we will carry out the final process ”, he told . Mauricio Zuma, director of BioManguinhos.

For his part, the Brazilian president, Jair bolsonaroannounced the release of 1.9 billion reais (about $ 365.3 million) for the entire completion process of the vaccine imported from the United Kingdom and for its own initial production, in 2021.

Of the 100 million doses purchased by Brazil, 15.2 million are expected to arrive in December in January and another equal amount in January. For the almost 70 million remaining doses, « we are defining the schedule » with the AstraZeneca laboratory, highlighted Zuma, for whom the first vaccines will only be available to people from January.

« We have a whole phase of quality control, which takes time and is a complex process, so until the vaccine is released it will only be available sometime in January, » said the head of the laboratory, who is also waiting for authorization from Anvisa , the Brazilian health surveillance regulatory agency.

Brazil is another of the countries that will also produce the Oxford vaccine (. / Adriano Machado)

The coronavirus vaccine developed by the British University of Oxford it was « safe » and « trains » the immune system, as revealed by the findings of the first phases of the study, released in late July.

The formula did not present any serious side effects in the 1,077 volunteers, healthy adults between 18 and 55 years old, who produced immune responses of antibodies and T cells that can fight the virus, according to trial results published in The Lancet medical journal.

AstraZeneca is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the race to find a vaccine against the disease that has already caused thousands of deaths worldwide, along with other companies testing candidates in mid- and late-stage clinical trials. The firm said that a phase III trials of its potential vaccine is currently being carried out in UK, Brazil and South Africa, and that will start soon in the United States.

The researchers said the vaccine caused more frequent mild side effects than a control group, but many of these could be reduced with acetaminophen, with no serious adverse effects detected.

The formula, which is being developed at unprecedented speed, is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. Scientists have greatly modified it so that it cannot cause infections in people and to more like the coronavirus.

They have done this by transferring the genetic instructions for the coronavirus’s so-called “spike protein” – the key tool it uses to invade human cells – into the vaccine they are developing. In this way, this vaccine looks like the new coronavirus, and the immune system can learn how to fight it. Being based on a modified adenovirus, which does not replicate, it is safer, especially for the most fragile patients.

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