Around 2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Brazil from India although it might turn out to be insufficient considering the supply rates.
The vaccine developed by The University of Oxford and global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is expected to clear the customs in Sao Paulo before finally landing at Rio de Janeiro, where Brazil’s Fiocruz Institute for biological sciences, is situated.
Brazil Desperate For Vaccine Supply: Delayed Shipment From India Causes Concerns
Fiocruz is partnered with AstraZeneca and Oxford for the vaccine production and distribution.
The Health Ministry of Brazil announced the vaccine shipment on Thursday.
Brazilian health experts stated to The Associated Press that the current supply won’t be enough and that more vaccines would be needed to ensure complete safety and treatment.
Professor of preventive medicine at the University of Sao Paulo, Mário Scheffer also stated to The Associated Press that the lack of supply would interfere with their goal to reach collective immunity.
Around 2 lakh+ deaths have been recorded in Brazil making it the second-highest coronavirus affected country in the world after the United States with more cases continuing to rise every day.
Last week the flight carrying the vaccines from India became postponed which caused a delay in the Brazil government’s vaccine plan.
To manage the unexpected withdrawal, the country had to take the less effective CoronaVac made by the Chinese company Sinovac.
Despite being contacted, the Indian Embassy in Brazil refused to answer the shipment delay.
Brazil’s biological institute Butantan distributed 6 million doses of CoronaVac which was imported from China to temporarily ensure the country’s immunization.
An additional 4.8 million doses were also imported which can only be distributed after approval from the health regulator.
Scheffer also stated that the government will require at least 10 million vaccines beginning with working groups that do not involve the elderly and other risk-prone patients.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro mentioned in his weekly Facebook live that they are doing everything they can to arrange free vaccines for every citizen.
It has been speculated that some allies of Bolsonaro who previously criticized the Chinese government might be the cause for the delayed shipment.
FGV School of International relations’ Associate professor Oliver Stuenkel stated to The American Press that Bolsonaro’s difficult relationship with the Chinese government can be a major cause for the delayed inputs.
It is expected that Butantan would provide around 46 million doses to the Health Ministry of Brazil by April.
According to the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, the Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello had a meet-up with China’s ambassador in Brazil in which Bolsonaro requested to have a call with the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Bolsonaro’s advisor Filipe Martins revealed in a TV interview that Brazil is looking for suppliers from other countries as well.
A statement from their press office states that new shipments from China would depend upon the decision of the Chinese government.
The country still hopes to find any help to provide treatments for its own citizens as soon as possible.