Under pressure, Brazil health minister promises more COVID vaccine shots
The AstraZeneca vaccine was originally planned as the central pillar of Brazil's national inoculation program, but so far the majority of doses have come from Sinovac.Reuters | Updated: 18-02-2021 05:14 IST | Created: 18-02-2021 05:14 IST
Pressured by state governors over a shortage of coronavirus vaccine, Brazil's health minister on Wednesday promised to mobilize 11.3 million shots by the end of the month, but included doses the delivery of which has yet to be confirmed.
With vaccination campaigns halted in recent days in major cities like Rio de Janeiro and Salvador due to a lack of shots, Minister Eduardo Pazuello is facing increasing criticism from governors and mayors over the inoculation program. After Pazuello met with governors on Wednesday afternoon, the ministry issued a statement saying 11.3 million doses would be made available in February.
That figure includes 9.3 million doses secured by the Butantan institute in Sao Paulo through its partnership with China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd, plus 2 million doses of the vaccine made by Britain's AstraZeneca Plc, according to the statement. However, delivery of the AstraZeneca doses has not been confirmed by India where they are being produced and they are still under negotiation with AstraZeneca, Brazil's research institute Fiocruz, responsible for importing the vaccines, said in a separate statement.
The Health Ministry did not immediately comment on the inclusion of non-secured vaccines from AstraZeneca in its plan. The AstraZeneca vaccine was originally planned as the central pillar of Brazil's national inoculation program, but so far the majority of doses have come from Sinovac.
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