Brazil turns to India for Covid-19 vaccine

Brazil turns to India for Covid-19 vaccine

Brazil made a diplomatic push on Monday to guarantee an Indian-made shipment of British drugmaker AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to a Reuters report from Brasilia.

Let down by the Chinese vaccine candidates which have run into a major credibility crisis, Brazil has now turned to India to secure consignments of the more reliable AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine made by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India.

At the same time Brazil’s private clinics have struck a preliminary deal for an alternative injection made by India’s Bharat Biotech despite a lack of public results from late-stage trials, the report said.

BEIJING, CHINA – SEPTEMBER 05: An employee displaying a coronavirus vaccine candidate from China National Biotec Group (CNBG), during the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) at Beijing Olympic Park on September 5, 2020 in Beijing, China. As China recovers from the COVID-19 epidemic, about 2,000 Chinese and foreign enterprises will participate and showcase their newest technology in public health and digital technology in the China International Fair for Trade in Services. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The Chinese connection appears to have proved costly for Brazil, a country which had once proved itself as a huge success in mass immunization in the developing world. It has now fallen behind its other countries and has come in for severe criticism of its slow response and a death toll approaching 200,000, second only to the United States.

Plans by Brazil’s Fiocruz Institute to import AstraZeneca’s vaccine in bulk, filling and finishing doses locally, would only have 1 million doses ready by the second week of February, Reuters cited the head of the government-funded biomedical centre as saying.

However, the chief executive of the Serum Institute of India told Reuters on Sunday that he expected India’s government to restrict export of COVID-19 vaccines.

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