After unsuccessful attempts to secure 2 million vaccine doses in India last January, leading to a loss of US$ 500,000 for Fiocruz, Itamaraty secretly negotiated with the Indian government. Brazil's foreign ministry managed to transport the same doses for US$ 55 thousand, about 10% of the amount paid by the foundation.
The entire operation was carried out in secrecy, and the Ministry of Health only found out when the cargo was about to board the Emirates plane at Mumbai airport.
The haste and blunders of the Jair Bolsonaro government, mainly from the Ministry of Health, had already produced two fiascos in imports.
In the third attempt to get the vaccines, Itamaraty and the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to do everything covertly. Without the involvement of the Ministry of Health, there was no perceived risk of leaking the information or pressure from the Planalto Palace for some disclosure.
On January 19 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, announced that the load of vaccines would be released on the 21st at 6 am.
The Ministry of Health did not participate in the negotiations, and Itamaraty acted in parallel.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon