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.
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.