India to send 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Brazil

india vaccine brazil
Health worker holds a vial of Covishield, AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine made by India’s Serum Institute. Photo: Mahendra N Parikh/Shutterstock

Reuters reports that authorities in India have finally greenlit the shipment of 2 million ready-for-use doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Brazil. As India’s Foreign Ministry — and later the country’s consulate in São Paulo — confirmed, the vaccine should arrive in São Paulo on January 22.

The Brazilian government had hoped the shots would arrive last week, but Indian authorities suspended exports until its own domestic immunization program was underway. The case was detrimental to the reputation of Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, as even members of the Bolsonaro administration said that he should have been able to clear the shipment sooner.

It also drew criticism toward Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello, after his department delayed the mission to collect the vaccine last week, in order to decorate a charter plane with marketing slogans — an idea thought up by his newly-hired personal image advisor, Marcos Erald Arnoud, better known as “Markinhos Show.”

Update: President Jair Bolsonaro took to Twitter to celebrate the shipment, and praised Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo for his efforts.

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