The latest from the fight against COVID-19 in Latin America, including J&J’s vaccine trials, issues surrounding Chinese-made diagnostic tests, Colombia’s vaccine manufacturing capacity, and potential compulsory licensing in Brazil.
COVID-19 vaccine: J&J seeks 20,000 trial volunteers in Latin America, one-third of planned global total
Josue Bacaltchuk, vice president of medical affairs for Latin America for Janssen, J&J’s Belgian unit developing the vaccine prototype, said countries hosting the trials would also likely get preferential access to vaccines once ready.
“We expect the majority in Brazil because it’s the biggest country and also the one most affected by the pandemic so we expect a lot of people volunteering, but we expect also high numbers in Colombia and in Argentina,” Bacaltchuk said. “It’s the intention of the company to prioritize the countries that contribute to the development of the vaccine and that will have patients participating in the trials, yes,” he added in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.
Latin America’s Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine: A Timeline
Scientists around the world are scrambling for a solution to the pandemic through potential vaccine developments, and Latin America is a target for testing. There’s little wonder why countries in the region would want to participate: at the end of May, the Pan-American Health Organization confirmed that Latin America and the Caribbean had become the global epicenter for COVID-19. As of September 9, Latin America and the Caribbean had almost 8 million confirmed cases, and just under 300,000 deaths.
Majority of rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests sold by Chinese labs to LATAM governments unapproved by Chinese regulator (in Spanish)
Remdesivir and interferon being studied in Colombia as potential combination therapy for COVID-19 (in Spanish)
Colombian pharma asso ASINFAR says Colombia has manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 production
Brazilian lawmakers propose compulsory licensing for COVID-19 products
As concerns mount over access to COVID-19 medical products, Brazil has become the latest country in which some lawmakers are seeking to issue compulsory licenses for medicines and vaccines to combat the novel coronavirus.