Brazilian health regulators said Tuesday they had approved Johnson & Johnson’s experimental vaccine against the new coronavirus for the final stage of clinical trials, the fourth vaccine to receive widespread testing in the hard-hit country.

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The US pharmaceutical company’s subsidiary Janssen will test the vaccine on 7,000 volunteers across seven states in Brazil, part of a group of up to 60,000 worldwide, health regulator Anvisa said in a statement.

It said the test would be a randomized, controlled, double-blind Phase 3 trial, or large-scale testing on humans — the last step before regulatory approval.

“Another vaccine study has been approved in Brazil, which is a very important development,” Anvisa official Gustavo Mendes said in a video on the regulator’s website.

Brazil has become a key testing ground in the search for a vaccine against COVID-19, since the virus is still spreading fast in the country.

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