Brazil will need USD 2 billion to buy minimum amount of Covid-19 vaccines

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Brazil should expect to contribute around USD 2 billion to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi) if it wants to receive enough Covid-19 vaccines in the first round of vaccine distributions, according to projections by financial newspaper Valor.

The projection stipulates that the country will initially need to vaccinate 20 percent of its population to achieve a basic level of immunity. Some analysts believe that having 20 percent of the population with antibodies would already be enough to register a significant decrease in the coronavirus contagion rate.

Reaching 20 percent immunity would therefore be the initial goal for every country, instead of the 60 percent threshold that could lead to some countries gobbling up most of the vaccines initially available. In order to receive enough doses, Brazil would have to be part of Gavi’s Covid-19 Global Access Facility (Covax Facility) initiative, which expects countries with medium-high to high GDP to pay for the vaccine in a collective pool.

To initially join the Covax Facility initiative, Brazil will have to pay USD 197 million. Once a vaccine is made available, the country would be allowed to buy shots up to the figure equivalent to 20 percent of its population.

The initial cost per individual is expected to be USD 20 for a two-dose vaccine, thus amounting to approximately USD 2 billion in total. The Covax Initiative would be a reasonably risk-free pathway to acquiring a Covid-19 vaccine, as countries would collectively finance multiple vaccine studies and minimize risks of failing to reach a successful vaccine.

The alliance, which is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), has garnered interest from more than 150 countries so far, including Brazil.

Recently, Brazil’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Maria Nazareth Farani Azevedo, praised the initiative as being in line with the country’s desire for “mechanisms that guarantee an equitable distribution of the vaccine.”

A cheaper alternative

Another way of acquiring the Covid-19 vaccine is by striking bilateral partnerships with prospective studies to guarantee access in hopes that they will produce an effective vaccine.

As previously reported by The Brazilian Report, Brazil has agreed to invest USD 127 million in a partnership with British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and Oxford University to produce and develop their prospective vaccine in the country, if their dose proves effective.

The deal stipulates that the country would receive an initial batch of 30.4 million vaccine units plus a later transfer of inputs and technology so that Brazil could produce 70 million additional units in early 2021, which would be enough to vaccinate nearly half of its population. Each unit would only cost roughly USD 2.30 in this scenario.However, the AstraZeneca prospective vaccine is yet to provide conclusive results in its final round of testing — which includes trials in Brazil — ultimately making the investment a shot in the dark.

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