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A shipment of the CoronaVac vaccine is unloaded from a cargo plane that arrived from China, at Guarulhos International Airport in Guarulhos, Brazil, on December 18. Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

CoronaVac, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac, has been shown to have an efficacy of 78% during phase 3 trials in Brazil, its local partner, the Butantan Institute, announced on Thursday. 

“Today is a very important day for Brazil, for Brazilians, for life and health,” Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said during a press conference, alongside state health officials and executives from the Butantan Institute.  

“This result means that the vaccine developed by the Butantan Institute has a high level of efficiency and efficacy protecting the lives of Brazilians against Covid-19,” Doria also said. 

The phase 3 trials involved 13,000 health workers across eight Brazilian states. According to Reuters, Butantan Director Dimas Covas said that the full CoronaVac data would be released in an unspecified scientific publication but did not provide a timeline.

Doria also said his government, along with the Butantan Institute, had begun the process of applying for an emergency use authorization from ANVISA, Brazil’s national medicine agency, “with the objective of starting the vaccination in São Paulo” from January 25.

Even though the efficacy falls shorts of the success rates of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine candidates, CoronaVac is easier to transport and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, Reuters reports.

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