Brazil awaits vaccine cargo from India amid supply concerns
Brazil’s government is eagerly awaiting the Friday arrival of 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from India, while experts warn the precious cargo will do little to shore up an insufficient supply in South America’s biggest nation.
Brazil’s health ministry on Thursday announced the shipment of the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. It is expected to clear customs in Sao Paulo before being flown to Rio de Janeiro, where Brazil’s state-run Fiocruz Institute is based, the ministry said. Fiocruz has a partnership with AstraZeneca and Oxford for the vaccine’s distribution and production.
The 2 million doses from India only scratch the surface of addressing the shortfall, Brazilian public health experts told The Associated Press, as millions more doses will be needed to cover priority groups, and shipments of raw materials from Asia have been delayed.
“Counting doses from Butantan (Sao Paulo state’s Butantan Institute) and those from India, there isn’t enough vaccine and there is no certainty about when Brazil will have more, or how much,” Mário Scheffer, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Sao Paulo, told The Associated Press. “It will interfere with our capacity in the near-term to reach collective immunity.”
A flight from India planned for last week was postponed, derailing the federal government’s plan to begin immunization with the AstraZeneca shot. Instead, vaccination in the nation of 210 million people began using the CoronaVac shot in Sao Paulo, where Butantan has a deal with Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac……read more
Source: AP News