Import of vaccine supplies a bureaucratic issue: Bolsonaro says

The government said the Oxford vaccine should arrive in Brazil today

Published in 22/01/2021 - 11:05 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday (Jan. 21) on his weekly live broadcast on social media, that the delay in the arrival of pharmaceutical supplies for the production of the vaccine against COVID-19 is merely a bureaucratic issue. Bolsonaro denied any political problem on the Brazilian government’s part with India and China, countries that manufacture both the vaccines and the so-called active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), which will be used in the production of CoronaVac and AstraVeneca in Brazilian territory.

“The problem, as the ambassador himself said, is a bureaucratic one. It’s not political, as some have said,” the president said.

During the broadcast, Bolsonaro was joined by Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo and Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Freitas. According to the chancellor, Brazil’s Embassy to Beijing has held talks on the release of retained supplies, which had their delivery originally scheduled for this month.

“Our ambassador in Beijing has actually held talks because things must be arranged there in order for the vaccine supplies to be obtained in China’s bureaucracy—that’s normal,” he stated.

On Wednesday (20), three cabinet ministers met with China’s Ambassador to Brazil, Yang Wanming, to discuss ways to speed up the process.

Regarding India, Bolsonaro mentioned his ties wish the country’s leader Nerendra Modi to deny there has been any issue between the countries. “Modi’s interest in Brazil is the same as ours in India. Excellent ties. Nothing has changed,” he said.

Early on, the Brazilian government announced that the vaccines against COVID-19 developed in a partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford University should arrive in Brazil on Friday (22) from India. The original estimate was a week ago. Altogether, 2 million doses were covered by the contract, manufactured by Indian laboratory Serum.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Paula Laboissière / Nira Foster

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