Once dismissive of COVAX Facility, Brazil requested more vaccines from WHO initiative

dismissive covax vaccines
WHO building. Photo: Askarim/Shutterstock

Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga saw a request denied to increase the number of vaccines issued to the country by way of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX Facility. This snub comes after the Brazilian government opted to receive the minimum amount of vaccines possible, demonstrating a swift about-turn in the Bolsonaro administration’s immunization stance.

News of the request was revealed by Reuters, which had access to a confidential communiqué between Mr. Queiroga and WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, sent on June 4.

In the document, the Health Minister says the 42 million doses Brazil is set to receive would be insufficient, and requested enough vaccines to immunize 20 percent of the population — approximately 84 million doses.

Mr. Ghebreyesus acknowledged that the COVAX initiative had suffered delays in delivering vaccines, but made it clear that Brazil’s quota would not be increased.