Brazil has 300 mi vaccine doses guaranteed, minister says

Pazuello said that “Brazil will acquire all safe vaccines”

Published in 09/12/2020 - 12:09 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília

Brazil’s Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello stated Tuesday (Dec. 8) that the federal government has worked to acquire vaccines to immunize Brazilians against COVID-19. Thus far, he said, 300 million doses are guaranteed which could be used on 150 million people, as each person needs two doses of the vaccine.

“Brazil currently has 300 million vaccine doses guaranteed through deals pending approval by [the country’s national sanitary regulator] Anvisa,” he said.

According to the Health Ministry, the federal government has inked agreements with laboratory AstraZeneca to receive 260 million doses and supplies for manufacture in 2021 by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), with costs estimated to add up to R$ 1.9 billion.  These are expected to amount to 100 million in the first half year and another 160 million in the second.

The ministry also joined international consortium Covax Facility, which comprises a number of countries and includes sending to Brazil another 42 million doses of some of the vaccines being produced worldwide. The government also relies on the possibility of purchasing another 70 million doses of the vaccine from US pharmaceutical Pfizer.

“We’ve signed this memorandum of understanding ensuring over 70 million doses from Pfizer, to start receiving these doses in 2021,” he went on to say.

Countrywide access

The minister reiterated that the vaccine will be accessible to all of the Brazilian population. He did not disclose an exact date for the beginning of immunization efforts, but vaccination is officially expected to start in March.

“I’d like to underscore that everyone in Brazil will have access to the vaccine. Everyone who wants it. I’ll say it once again: Everything is being carried out according to the scientific proceedings and the protocols of the regulating agency, which we respect and which legally represents the authority in this matter,” he said.

In a reference to the plan unveiled Monday (7) by the São Paulo state government, where vaccination is slated to kick off on January 25 in the state, Eduardo Pazuello stressed that it is Anvisa’s job to approve any vaccine, a process that may take up to 60 days, the minister said “Any failure in complying with the established procedures may put the health of the population at risk. We cannot afford to do that.”

Early on, on an online conference with state governors, the health minister had said the federal government would acquire all vaccines considered safe against COVID-19.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Pedro Ivo de Oliveira/Kelly Oliveira

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