Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine 78% effective in late-stage trials in Brazil -source

SAO PAULO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - A COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech is 78% effective based on late-stage trial results in Brazil, a person familiar with the study said on Thursday, moving the shot a step closer to regulatory approval in South America’s biggest country.

The results, closely watched by countries counting on the vaccine to begin mass inoculations, come after Turkish researchers said in December that the vaccine showed 91.25% efficacy based on interim data.

Brazil and Indonesia, which have the most COVID-19 cases in Latin America and Southeast Asia respectively, are preparing to start using the vaccine, called CoronaVac, this month.

Although the efficacy of CoronaVac trails the more than 90% success rate of vaccines from Moderna Inc or Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech SE, it is easier to transport and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.

Sinovac also has supply deals with Turkey, Chile, Singapore, Ukraine and Thailand. (Reporting by Eduardo Simões, Ana Mano and Beijing Newsroom Editing by Brad Haynes, Miyoung Kim and Gerry Doyle)