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Researchers say cuts to research funding are affecting science

The UFPR vaccine will be another achievement of Brazilian science

Since the novel coronavirus pandemic began, only one thing has been talked about: vaccines. Vaccines are a global issue, and they have already been responsible for a host of discussions, from the rush by many countries to manufacture them, by demonstrating greater or less efficacy, to the alleged exaggerated procurement scandals, targeted by Covid’s CPI.

In Brazil we are still skiing and striving for adequate vaccinations for all age groups, and only now are we sharing the possibility of mass prevention for those in their forties.

In light of this need, the survey conducted by the UFPR (Federal University of Paraná) is another encouragement in the fight against the disease that has killed more than half a million Brazilians. On Friday (2), the university officially started a campaign to produce the immunizing agent already called the “UFPR vaccine”.

Read: UFPR begins its own vaccine funding campaign against Covid-19

The struggle is for fundraising to manufacture a low-cost vaccine not only for the coronavirus, but also for other diseases. Among the most encouraging features is the fact that the UFPR vaccine is manufactured with 100% national inputs. It will also be multifunctional, that is, the same technology can be applied to prevent Zika, dengue, chikungunya and parasites.

It is expected that the preclinical testing of the UFPR vaccine against the coronavirus will be completed by the end of 2021. After that, according to the researchers, the immunizing agent should be made available to the population in 2022, if it passes the clinical tests. In a country that talks about imported vaccines for as low as $15 per dose, it is really comforting to know that the vaccine from Paraná can be produced at an estimated cost of $5-10 per dose.

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UFPR’s research began in early 2020 with R$230,000 funding from CNPQ (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication. UFPR, even in the face of budgetary difficulties, also invested R$40,000 in its own resources. The public relations government secured another R$995,000 for funding, equipment, and research grants. To take the critical step of the clinical stage, UFPR now needs to gather more resources, the campaign has been launched on a digital platform for donors who will be able to follow through on the research. The human testing phase is expected to cost about R$50 million to cover about 30,000 volunteers. This is another example of how Brazilian science has contributed to controlling the epidemic and spreading health.

FOLHA wishes all Brazilians more vaccinations!

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