The Brazilian Ministry of Health announced today an agreement for the purchase and production of a vaccine to combat COVID-19 in partnership with the United Kingdom. According to the Executive Secretary for Health, Elcio Franco, the Federal Government accepted the proposal for cooperation with the country led by Boris Johnson, which also involves the AstraZeneca laboratory.
The “purchase of vaccine batches and technology transfer” is planned, allowing Brazil to become, later on, autonomous in production. For now, the agreement is based on the acquisition of 30 million doses, which should start to be available in December this year. The purchase takes place even before the development vaccine’s effectiveness is proven.
“The risk is necessary because of the moment we live in and the urgency we have for the resumption of growth in the country and public security”, indicates the Brazilian Ministry of Health.
A second phase follows, which calls for the ordering of an additional 70 million doses. However, this request will only go ahead if positive results are recorded and the safety of the vaccine is demonstrated. At that moment, the vaccine will be made available throughout the country, “prioritizing risk groups – the elderly and people with health comorbidities, such as heart problems, diabetes and other diseases.
The vaccine is developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. In Brazil, the technology will be developed by Fiocruz (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz), from the Ministry of Health.