Butantan cuts vaccine delivery forecasts, blames Bolsonaro

Butantan vaccine forecasts Bolsonaro
Vaccination station in Cotia, São Paulo. Photo: Roberto Herrera Peres/Shutterstock

Dimas Covas, head of the São Paulo-based Butantan Institute, declared that the research center has reduced forecasts for vaccine input deliveries from China. He blamed the problem on a “lack of alignment” with the federal government — suggesting the Jair Bolsonaro administration is not committed to securing more vaccines quicker. 

Mr. Covas told reporters the institute’s initial forecast was to receive 6,000 liters of active pharmaceutical ingredients by May 10. Now, he says Butantan will receive only 2,000 by May 13. With the delays, Brazil could find itself without ready-for-use CoronaVac doses in the near future. “We’ll have to blame this mainly on our federal government, which has been rowing against the tide,” he said.

On Wednesday, President Jair Bolsonaro suggested China could have developed the coronavirus in a laboratory and disseminated it as a tactic of biological warfare for economic gain. In response, the leader of the Brazil-China caucus in the Brazilian lower house, Congressman Fausto Pinato, reacted by saying he was “worried about a possible personality deviation” from the president.

“In my opinion, he is not an irresponsible, unstable person without any notion of the world,” said Mr. Pinato. “In fact, it could be some mental illness making our president take fiction for reality.”