Officials accuse Brazil’s Health Minister of withholding Janssen vaccines

Health Ministry was unable to explain delayed doses when approached by The Brazilian Report, adding to suspicions over Marcelo Quieroga’s conduct

Vaccines Janssen Covid-19
Photo: Kevin David/A7 Press/Folhapress

Officials working in the Brazilian Health Ministry’s vaccine distribution division have told The Brazilian Report that department head Marcelo Queiroga ordered them to withhold around 100,000 jabs of the single-shot Janssen coronavirus vaccine.

The decision was made in June, say multiple sources, and lacked a clear justification. “Allegedly, the Health Ministry would use these doses for research, but they gave us no further detail,” one person confirmed.

Brazil received a batch with 1.5 million Janssen vaccines on June 22, which could “speed up the [vaccination] process,” Mr. Queiroga said at the time. By then, rollouts were progressing at...

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