Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Brazil clears emergency use of Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines, shots begin

Jair Bolsonaro’s government aims to kick off a national immunization program this week but is waiting on shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the center of its plans. That has added to public frustration and offered a political rival the chance to upstage the right-wing president. Image via REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/FILE PHOTO

BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian health regulator Anvisa on Sunday approved emergency use of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and Britain’s AstraZeneca, clearing the way for immunizations as the pandemic enters a deadly second wave.

Minutes after Anvisa’s board voted unanimously to approve both vaccines, Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old nurse in Sao Paulo, became the first person to be inoculated in the country, receiving the Chinese vaccine known as CoronaVac.

President Jair Bolsonaro, a coronavirus skeptic who has refused to take a vaccine himself, is under growing pressure to start inoculations in Brazil, which has lost more than 200,000 to COVID-19—the worst death toll outside the United States. 

Delays with vaccine shipments and testing results have held up vaccinations in the country, once a global leader in mass immunizations and now a regional laggard after countries such as Chile and Mexico started giving shots last month.

Mr. Bolsonaro’s government aims to kick off a national immunization program this week but is waiting on shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the center of its plans. That has added to public frustration and offered a political rival the chance to upstage the right-wing president.

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria, who oversees the Butantan biomedical center that is partnered with Sinovac in Brazil, said Anvisa’s decision was a triumph for science as he gave the go-ahead for the first vaccination in his state.

“A victory for science. A victory for life. A victory for Brazil,” Mr. Doria tweeted.

Mr. Bolsonaro, for whom Mr. Doria is a potential center-right rival to his 2022 re-election efforts, has taunted the governor over CoronaVac’s disappointing 50% efficacy in Brazilian trials. But the federal Health Ministry has agreed to acquire and distribute the shot for the national immunization drive.

Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello told a news conference that the rush to start vaccinating immediately was an illegal “marketing ploy” and the government would start distributing the vaccines to states on Monday, with the nationwide immunization plan beginning on Wednesday.

Brazil could eventually vaccinate 1 million people a day, he said.

Adding to the urgency for vaccinations, a second wave of the outbreak in Brazil is snowballing as the country confronts a new, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus that originated in Amazonas state and prompted Britain and Italy to bar entry to Brazilians.

Butantan, which is set up to fill and finish CoronaVac doses on its production line, plans to supply 46 million doses of the two-dose shot by April, the institute said in a statement. Some 6 million of those are ready to go.

The federally funded Fiocruz institute is still waiting for a delayed shipment of the active ingredient in the AstraZeneca vaccine for finishing on a Rio de Janeiro assembly line.

The Health Ministry has scrambled to line up 2 million ready doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India, but officials there have suggested it may take weeks to approve exports. Mr. Pazuello said on Sunday he expected the doses from India this week. — Jamie McGeever and Pedro Fonseca/Reuters

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Investing

A rare Mercedes-Benz racing car known as the Mona Lisa of cars has been sold by the company for a record £115 million. The...

Investing

New research has revealed that only one in four civil servants believe their department is following the Government’s National Data Strategy, with skills and...

Economy

Australian mining and logistics firms are interested in doing business in the Philippines according to Australian ambassador Steven J. Robinson, who cited policy reforms...

Investing

As Sunday Times Rich List shows record number of UK billionaires, their gains should be taxed the same as income from work Huge increases...

Investing

A battle is shaping up between major retailers over whether the UK should introduce an online sales tax, with Sainsbury’s demanding it to help...

Investing

The system of executive pay is “broken”, the Church of England’s pension board has said, as it challenged more companies to ease the pain...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Investing

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.