Under pressure from political rivals to respond to the pandemic, the Brazilian President called for the swift export of 2 million doses of Covishield.
Under considerable pressure to start the vaccine rollout, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking the Indian government to “speed up” exports. two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, ‘Covidshield’, produced at the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, is expected to be delivered next week.
“To [ensure] the immediate implementation of the Brazilian National Immunization Program, I would appreciate your kind services in accelerating the immediate delivery of the two million doses of the vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India to Brazil, but as long as it does not impact India’s vaccination program, “Mr. Bolsonaro wrote to Mr Modi on Friday, according to the translated version of the letter accessed by Hindu.
Government officials said replies had not been sent to Bolsonaro at this time. When contacted, the SII representative declined to comment on the Brazilian request.
With more than 8 million cases of COVID-19, Brazil is second only to the US (22.4 million cases) and India (10.4 million cases), but in terms of the number of deaths from the virus, Brazil with over 200,000 of these deaths week, is second only to the US (378,000+ deaths), and much higher than India’s 150,000+ deaths.
As a result, Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly been skeptical of COVID-19 – calling it ‘just the flu’ – and vaccines – showing they can have extreme side effects – has come under growing criticism for his government’s slow response to the pandemic. from political and media opponents in Brazil. In particular, Bolsonaro’s government has faced challenges from provincial governors and mayors in Brazil, including his main election rival, Sao Paolo Governor Joao Doria, who announced that he would start providing China Coronavac in his state on January 25.
Earlier this week, Bolsonaro took over his refusal of the Chinese vaccine, and his government announced that it had signed a contract for up to 100 million doses of Coronavac, which will be produced at Brazil’s Butantan Institute in the coming days. Sunday.
Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation has contracted with AstraZeneca to produce 100 million doses, but this may not be ready until March. In addition, the Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics (ABCVAC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bharat Biotech to personally purchase Covaxin, which is currently in the final stages of clinical trials, and has received conditional clearance from Indian drug regulators.
As a result, the Brazilian government is interested in getting ready-to-inject vaccines as soon as possible, and is awaiting ANVISA approval from its own drug regulator for them later this month.
The letter from the Brazilian president, who visited India as the main guest for Republic Day last year and is believed to have close ties to Modi, comes months after another letter he sent to the prime minister in April asking India to withdraw. the export ban on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), is thought to help prevent and treat the corona virus.
Sources said the request was also triggered by concerns over the suggestion of SII CEO Adar Poonawalla in an interview on January 3 that the Indian government had restricted vaccine exports until domestic needs were met.
According to Itamaraty (Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Health Ministry met with the Indian Ambassador in Brasillia Suresh Reddy to “solve this problem” on January 4.
“The Brazilian Embassy in New Delhi, in turn, is in permanent contact with Indian authorities to emphasize the importance of initiating vaccinations in Brazil,” said a release from the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.
New Delhi later clarified that it had no plans to limit the supply of the coronavirus vaccine to other countries, and a joint press statement issued by SII and Bharat Biotech confirmed this on January 5.