When the vaccine against Covid-19 arrived at the first time to the brazilian embrace, in january of this year, many people cried moved by emotions and celebrated as it was a commemoration party day as they showed the vaccination card with CoronaVac’s name - the vaccine from Butantan and Sinovac which is the immunizing most applied in the world against SARS-CoV-2 due to this day. Almost one year later, millions of lives were saved, winning the fight against the waves of negationism and fake news. This week among tuesday (7), wednesday (8) and thursday (9), researchers from Brazil and from another five countries makes history once more as they reunite at the CoronaVac Symposium to present the main conclusions obtained until this moment about the pioneer vaccine. The data are disponibilized not only to the peers and the scientific community, but to the whole population.
The unfoldings of the pandemics must still bring a high amount of challenges, but the first day of the international meeting was highlighted by the divulgation and discussion of the good results of safety, efficacy and effectiveness of the immunizing, besides the expectation that the vaccine will be updated to fight against the new variants (especially the omicron), starting from the ongoing studies.
According to the Butantan president, Dimas Covas, the CoronaVac is game changing. He accentuated the importance of the scientific divulgation at the international event and reinforced his total confidence in the immunizing. “This is a symposium that will help a lot in the understanding of this vaccine that was once before, uncomprehended in Brazil. The vaccine that helps the most against variants, avoids the development of sickness and has a long term immunity”, affirmed.
The Sinovac president, Weidong Yin, emphasized the importance of the Symposium and the partnership with Butantan for the fast development of technologies to fight against the new strain of SARS-CoV-2. During his opening speech, side by side with Dimas Covas, Weidong Win assinalated that there are still many uncertainties around omicron, its tax of mutation and the escape possibilities of the immunizing. Although, there is evidence that CoronaVac is efficient against the new strain.
“We hope for even more collaboration for a faster development of immunizing for new variants or for boosting vaccines, and we are sure that with partnerships like Butantan’s we will be able to face Covid-19”, accentuated Weidong Win.
The vice president and research and development leader of Sinovac, Yalling Hu, presented the entire historic of the CoronaVac creation, since the beginning of the first research with the inactivated virus and also affirmed that already exists studies for an actualization of the CoronaVac capable of facing the variant omicron.
The Sinovac has been dedicated to isolate the virus, parting from samples of Hong Kong patients, so the neutralizing antibodies tests can initiate. Afterwards, they pretend to accomplish a clinical trial to examine the efficacy of the immunizing. “The mutation is really unstable at the moment and we are still working at the crossing neutralization of the activity caused by coronavirus”, explained Yalling Hu.
In Chile, where four million doses were applied (as first and second dose) and more three million as booster doses, the infectologist Rafael Araos, researcher of the Universidad del Desarrollo and assessor of the Health Ministry in Chile, evaluates that there has been a high acceptance of the vaccine by the population, beyond the expected. “The acceptance of CoronaVac surprised us, it was much higher than expected, probably due to the good tolerance of the vaccine and a good experience in the primary scheme”, explained Rafael.
The answer of binding antibodies maintained for a year after the vaccination was another subject brought to the Symposium, by the doctor infectologist and professor at the School of Medicine from Universidade de São Paulo, Esper Kállas. The phase 3 clinical trials of CoronaVac developed in Brazil from july of 2020 showed that the binding antibodies against nucleocapsid antigens (the protein contained in the SARS-CoV-2 nucleus) stayed in the organism on a high level until 12 months after the vaccination. These antibodies are responsible for detecting the virus, inducing the combat against the infeccion. The data, still not published, were disclosed during the symposium.
The long awaited vaccination of children in Brazil was one of the highlights of the lectures of today. According to the analysis of the infectologist Esper Kállas, the vaccine from Butantan and Sinovac is a candidate that demonstrates being safe and tolerable for the pediatric population in the combat against SARS-CoV-2. “We have a lot of data regarding the safety of CoronaVac” assinalated the doctor, who believes that the efficacy data of the immunizing on the pediatric population must be positives. “We hope that the children have a higher response to vaccines in general”, he affirmed.
Turkey also made an appearance during the event. According to the department chief of infectious diseases of Hacettepe University, Serhat Unal, the CoronaVac presented 83,5% of effectiveness among health people and with comorbidities in clinical trials realized in the country. “In front of the comprovation of its safety and efficacy, the CoronaVac has been widely used in Turkey”, reinforced the scientist.
The pioneer methodology of scalonated research by conglomerate utilized in Project S, in Serrana, located in the countryside of São Paulo, was presented by the director of the State Hospital of Serrana, Marcos Borges. He reinforced that the effectiveness of the CoronaVac vaccine will help prevent what must occur in the real world relating to the immunization of the population in the whole country.
Also took a participation on the first day of the CoronaVac Symposium the director of the Brazilian Society of Immunization and member of the Technician Committee Assessor of National Program of Immunization from Health Ministry, Renato Kfouri, and the doctor specialized in public health and preventive medicine of Yale School of Public Health, Sten H. Vermund.
The international online event had live transmission, with simultaneous translation and counted with the work of an extensive team from Instituto Butantan to organize and release news in real time.
The Symposium will occur as well on Wednesday (8) and Thursday (9) from 8h to 11h (BRT time-zone), During the afternoon, at 15h, will happen the discussion tables, reuniting the main researchers from Butantan and renowned names of national scientific difusion to comment and rebound the main themes spoken of during the morning sessions.