Health Minister speaks before Senate

Health Minister speaks before Senate
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello (center) enters the Senate chambers. Photo: Pedro França/Senado/ACS

Under formal investigation for his department’s alleged omission in avoiding the Manaus coronavirus crisis, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello is currently speaking before the Senate, fielding questions about the government’s pandemic response.

As our Daily Briefing explained (for premium subscribers), this hearing is key to contain efforts by opposition parties to launch a congressional hearings committee to scrutinize the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Here are the main takeaways from the Health Minister in the Senate:

  • The new coronavirus variant from Amazonas “appears” to be three times as contagious as previous variants — and the hope to contain the virus hinges on vaccine rollouts.
  • Brazil has contracts to secure 100 million doses of the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine, produced locally by São Paulo’s Butantan Institute. Between 8 and 12 million doses will be manufactured per month.
  • “We have 11 million doses that were distributed to states and municipalities and we are not stocking them.”
  • Half of the population will be vaccinated by June, and the rest by year-end.

(This is a developing story)

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