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Brazil approves human trials for potential Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Johnson & Johnson is displayed on a screen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company’s listing at the NYSE in New York

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa on Tuesday said it had approved human clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical subsidiary Janssen.

Brazil is the second-worst hit country for coronavirus cases and deaths after the United States, leading many vaccine developers to seek out clinical trials here.

Brazil had registered 3.4 million cases of the disease and more than 108,000 related deaths as of Monday.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate is the fourth to be approved for human trials in Brazil, Anvisa said in its statement.

Brazil has already approved phase 3 human trials of potential vaccines developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford, China’s Sinovac Biotech and Pfizer in partnership with BioNTech.

China’s Sinopharm also aims to carry out trials for a possible vaccine in Brazil in a deal with the southern state of Parana pending regulatory approval.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; writing by Jake Spring; editing by Alex Richardson and Jason Neely)

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