BRASILIA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Brasilia on Tuesday launched vaccination against COVID-19 with the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese laboratory Sinovac in collaboration with the Sao Paulo-based Butantan Institute.
The first capital resident to receive the vaccine was 31-year-old nurse Lidia Rodrigues Dantas at the Da Asa Norte Regional Hospital, followed by five other frontline healthcare workers.
Federal District Governor Ibaneis Rocha, city Health Secretary Osnei Okumoto and other local officials were on hand for the event, which officially kicked off the city's immunization campaign.
"We hope that the entire population will be vaccinated as soon as possible" to put an end to the pandemic, said Ibaneis, adding that all on-duty hospital staff were to be vaccinated Tuesday.
The CoronaVac vaccine arrived in the city on Monday from Sao Paulo, and since early Tuesday more than 105,000 doses have been distributed to 15 public hospitals.
Brasilia has reported 265,274 COVID-19 cases with 4,427 deaths from the disease.
The emergency use of the CoronaVac vaccine was approved by the directors of the country's health regulatory agency Anvisa during an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon, at which they said "it is safe, has quality and is effective."
Various Brazilian experts have underscored the significance of Brazil being able to rely on the CoronaVac to combat its COVID-19 outbreak, the third largest in the world after the United States and India.
Mellanie Fontes-Dutra, a biochemist at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and founder of the COVID-19 Analysis Network, described CoronaVac as "a good vaccine" that underwent rigorous trials, including in Brazil.
More than 8.5 million people in Brazil have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 210,000 people have died from the disease, according to the Ministry of Health. Enditem