Brazil to receive Oxford vaccine in January, says Health Minister

Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello announced that Brazil will receive 15 million doses of the potential Covid-19 vaccine being manufactured by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca in January. In addition, the production agreement in place with biological research organization Fiocruz and the Covax consortium will grant the country another 300 million doses over next year. 

Speaking before Congress’ coronavirus committee, Mr. Pazuello said other producers could not provide a sufficient amount of vaccines to immunize the entire Brazilian population. Furthermore, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the cheapest option available. 

Mr. Pazuello said vaccination will not be mandatory, unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise — as we highlighted in today’s Daily Briefing

The Health Minister said that the ministry’s vaccination plan — explained in detail in today’s Daily Briefing — may change according to distribution conditions.  

He also said the ministry is alert to the possibility of a second infection wave, but argued that the recent spike in cases seen by researchers is a normal oscillation of the pandemic, likely due to November’s municipal elections. 

Mr. Pazuello was brought to the committee to provide explanations regarding reports that millions of unused RT-PCR tests purchased by the federal government are set to expire at the end of the year.

The Health Minister said these tests were approved with shorter expiration dates of only eight months, as a way to make sure they would be released quickly. He claims the kits are usable for up to three years.

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