Amid vaccine delays, Health Ministry “finds” over 100,000 jabs

Vaccine inputs in Brazilian airport. Photo: Tânia Rego/ABr
Vaccine inputs in Brazilian airport. Photo: Tânia Rego/ABr

After 18 of Brazil’s 27 states ran out of coronavirus vaccine jabs, the Health Ministry announced it had “found” nearly 105,000 CoronaVac shots in storage, allowing the nationwide rollout to resume on Thursday.

The shots were reportedly stored in a warehouse in the city of Guarulhos, on the outskirts of São Paulo, for quality control tests. 

This discovery came after thousands of patients were forced to wait longer than recommended to receive their second Covid-19 vaccine, potentially compromising their immunity. It remains unclear why the jabs were not distributed before, as production at São Paulo’s Butantan Institute suffered its first hiccups last week when shipments of inputs were delayed. 

Butantan intends to deliver a batch of 600,000 doses by April 30, which would leave it 4 million short of its 46 million vaccine target. The full batch is expected to be delivered by May 10. 

The government is also awaiting its first batch of 1 million Pfizer vaccines today, which could boost immunization efforts.