Documents collected by the Senate’s Covid hearings committee continue to paint a picture of a Jair Bolsonaro administration determined to refuse Pfizer vaccines from the get-go. The American lab has produced what appears to be the most effective immunizer against the coronavirus, yet the Brazilian government opted to stall vaccine deals with Pfizer — giving priority to the Indian-made Covaxin instead, which has been surrounded by doubts around its safety and efficacy.
New documents revealed by newspaper O Globo show that the federal government agreed to purchasing Covaxin doses after just 97 days — three times faster than negotiations with Pfizer. This was despite several red flags raised by the Brazilian Embassy in New Delhi around how Covaxin’s manufacturer, Bharat Biotech, failed to deal with trial data in a transparent manner. In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Brazilian government says Covaxin was one of its “chosen” vaccines.
On June 19, opponents of the government plan to stage protests in 500-plus cities to demand faster vaccine rollouts.