Bolsonaro says he will not buy Chinese Sinovac vaccine

(EFE) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro affirmed this Wednesday that his Government will not buy the coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac and disavowed its Minister of Health, Eduareo Pazuello, who the day before announced the purchase of 46 million doses of the immunizer.

The head of state affirmed in messages on social networks that the Government you cannot commit to buying a vaccine whose efficacy and safety has not been proven previously by the Ministry of Health or certified by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).

His refusal came a day after Pazuello, an Army general who took over as Bolsonaro’s third minister during the pandemic, announce an agreement to buy 46 million doses of the so-called vaccine “Coronavac for 427 million dollars.

The “Coronavac” It is developed and experienced in Brazil by Sinovac in association with the Butantan Institute, a scientific institution linked to the state of Sao Paulo, whose governor, Joao Doria, is a major political rival of Bolsonaro.

“The Brazilian people will not be anyone’s guinea pig. A billionaire financial contribution is not justified in a medicine that did not even pass the testing phase, “said the head of state in a comment on his social networks and in which, by making it clear that his decision has a political connotation, he referred to Coronavac as “The Chinese vaccine of Joao Doria”.

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“For my Government, any vaccine, before being made available to the population, has to be scientifically proven by the Ministry of Health and certified by Anvisa,” he added before making it clear that, given the above, “My decision is not to purchase the aforementioned vaccine.”

After a meeting on Tuesday with different governors, including Doria, Pazuello affirmed that he had signed a protocol of intentions to acquire Chinese medicine and expand the offer of vaccines against the coronavirus that will be offered to Brazilians.

The Government had already agreed with the company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to purchase 100 million doses of the vaccine that both are developing, and also joined the Covax initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to award another 40 million doses

The minister clarified that both the Sinovac and Oxford vaccines are still in the testing period and that, before being supplied, they must be certified by Anvisa.

The two vaccines are massively tested in Brazil, the second country with the most deaths from COVID-19 in the world after the United States, with 155,000 deaths, and the third with the most cases after the US and India, with 5.3 million infections.

No intention to purchase “Chinese Vaccines”

After Bolsonaro’s refusal, the Vice Minister of Health, Elcio Franco, in an attempt to minimize the disavowal of Pazuello, stated in a statement on television that for now “There is no intention to purchase Chinese vaccines.”

According to the vice minister, “there was a wrong interpretation of what the minister said, since at no time was the vaccine approved.”

Franco affirmed that the protocol of intentions signed by Pazuello to buy 46 million vaccines from the Butantan Institute is not binding and that it was signed “because it is an important partner of the Ministry of Health in the production of vaccines for the National Immunization Program.” .

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He added that it was another “Initiative to try to offer safe and effective vaccines to the Brazilian population” but that will only be launched in the event of a delay in the project to produce the Oxford vaccine in Brazil.

“The premise to acquire any vaccine is based on safety, efficacy, scale production and a fair price. Any vaccine, when available, certified by Anvisa and purchased by the Ministry, will be offered to Brazilians by the National Immunization Program. And, as it depends on this portfolio, it will not be mandatory, “he said.

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