Business

How shady companies tried to sell nonexistent vaccines to Brazilian politicians

Brazil's lack of vaccines created a perfect opportunity for underground operators to sell vaccines directly to cities. The problem? These jabs never existed

davati Vaccine contract brazil
Vaccine shipment arriving in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Photo: Gustavo Mansur/Palácio Piratini

With almost 19 million infections and over 524,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, Brazil is in a race against time to vaccinate its population before the potential arrival of new variants, which could engulf the country in yet another wave of infections and push local health systems back to the point of collapse. 

The Senate’s probe into the government’s pandemic response has shown how the Jair Bolsonaro administration deliberately stalled vaccine deals, leaving the country in a highly precarious position. On multiple occasions, the rollout ground to a halt due to a lack of jabs — leaving local authorities scrambling to...

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