Fiocruz researcher sees possible vaccine for seniors in Brazil


Fiocruz researcher (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation), Júlio Croda, said today that the results of the Oxford vaccine efficacy studies may help Brazil think of a covid-19 immunizer aimed primarily at the elderly, who are part of the risk factor group for disease caused by the new coronavirus. Today it was reported that the immunizer demonstrated a “robust” immune response among the elderly.

The Oxford vaccine is developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. In Brazil, it has efficacy studies coordinated by Unifesp (Federal University of Sao Paulo) and will be produced by Fiocruz if approved. The immunizer already has a $ 1 billion investment promised by the federal government.

Along with the Oxford vaccine, CoronaVac is the other vaccine against covid-19 to be distributed by the Ministry of Health. The immunizer is developed by the Butantan Institute in collaboration with the Chinese laboratory Sinovac and will have 6 million doses purchased by the federal government, as announced on Friday (23) by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency).

“If one of these vaccines is more important in the elderly and shows greater protection, a choice can be made, if Brazil has this option, it is important to work with options, so that a vaccine that has a better response in the elderly and a vaccine that has a better response in young adults, for example, “Croda said in an interview with CNN Brasil.

The researcher commented on a possible scenario of “emergency registration” of vaccines by Anvisa. Since CoronaVac has also had promising results in studies, the Oxford vaccine could be applied to the elderly, while the Butantan immunizer would be aimed at adults and young people.

“Very strong, very powerful”

The preliminaries of the Oxford vaccine efficacy study were a cause for celebration by Soraya Smaili, dean of Unifesp. He said the good immune response in the elderly indicates that the immunizer should be effective at producing antibodies in other age groups.

“It produces a very strong, very powerful immune response,” Soraya told CNN Brasil.

“Initially, that’s great news, of course, because we have a very promising result in a population group, which are the elderly, and this reinforces the fact that the vaccine candidate has the ability to produce antibodies in people, not just young people “, he added.

“Older people often don’t have the same immune response,” explained the dean of Unifesp, recalling that “the immune system suffers from the aging process”.

The dean of the institute coordinating immunizer studies in Brazil, however, remained cautious in commenting on the possible duration of immunity caused by the vaccine.

“We still don’t know if it produces long-term antibodies,” he said. “What do we know now about phase 3 [dos estudos], these results are collected, is how long the immune response lasts, “Soraya added.

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