The delay is a setback for the federal government, which has made the AstraZeneca vaccine the centerpiece of a vaccine plan that has come under attack for its slow rollout. — Pool picture via Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 9 ― The active ingredients needed to fill and finish millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in Brazil, previously slated to arrive in the country on Saturday, may not land until the end of the month, a local partner said yesterday.

The delay is a setback for the federal government, which has made the AstraZeneca vaccine the centerpiece of a vaccine plan that has come under attack for its slow rollout.

The federally funded Fiocruz biomedical center, which was counting on the shipment Saturday in order to supply the government with doses this month, said it was in talks to import more finished doses of the vaccine, likely from India.

A source with knowledge of the situation said the active ingredient is ready to be shipped to Brazil, but is still waiting for an export license from China, where it is produced.

In parallel, Fiocruz is negotiating the importation of more ready doses of the vaccine, beyond the 2 million already negotiated with the Serum Institute of India. Fiocruz said additional imports, if possible, would likely come from India.

Earlier yesterday, Fiocruz requested an emergency use authorization for AstraZeneca vaccines coming from India, which are expected to arrive in Brazil in the middle of this month.

By the end of the year, the federal government hopes to receive more than 200 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Fiocruz, which will initially fill and finish imported ingredients before ramping up entirely local production.

The government has said that, in a best-case scenario, it will start vaccinations on January 20.

Brazil is also relying on a vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech. The Chinese company’s Brazilian production partner also filed yesterday for emergency use authorisation with health regulator Anvisa, the day after announcing results from a late-stage trial. ― Reuters

Source:
https://www.malaymail.com/news/world/2021/01/09/brazils-fiocruz-says-astrazeneca-vaccine-ingredients-may-be-delayed-weeks/1938727

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