The São Paulo-based Butantan Biological Institute received 3,000 liters of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) on Monday morning, enough to manufacture 5 million doses of the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine. The shipment arrived at 6:15 am from Beijing and was celebrated by São Paulo Governor João Doria on Twitter.
Insumos para mais 5 milhões de doses da Vacina do Butantan chegaram agora ao Brasil. Mais vacinas para o braço dos brasileiros 🙏— João Doria (@jdoriajr) April 19, 2021
It had been nearly a month since the last API shipment from China, which delayed Butantan’s timetable for vaccine deliveries. The institute had promised to deliver 46 million doses late in April, but the deadline was moved to May 10. By the end of August, 100 million doses should be delivered.
According to São Paulo authorities, clearance for CoronaVac API shipments comes from the Chinese government, and recent spats between Brasília and Beijing may have slowed the process.
But states have also struggled to administer the doses that they do have. A survey by news website Poder360 shows states take almost 18 full days to distribute jabs after receiving them from the Health Ministry.