The Butantan CoronaVac Vaccine Will Be Brazil's Vaccine, Says Brazil's Health Minister

Immunization is scheduled for January, according to Health Minister; cost should be around US$ 356 million

São Paulo and Brasília

The Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello, announced an agreement with the state of São Paulo for the purchase of 46 million doses of Coronavac, the vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical Sinovac that will be produced in Brazil by the Butantan Institute. In a meeting with governors in this Tuesday (20), he said that it would be incorporated into the National Immunization Program.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 19, 2020 Brazilian Army General Eduardo Pazuello, speaks during his inauguration ceremony as Minister of Health at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia. (Photo by Sergio Lima / AFP) - AFP

"The Butantan vaccine will be Brazil's vaccination," said Pazuello at the meeting. "Butantan is already the major vaccine manufacturer for the Ministry of Health, it produces 75% of the vaccines we buy."

The minister also said that Butantan will begin manufacturing the vaccine by January and it will begin distribution in the same month. In announcing the agreement, Pazuello said: "This rebalances the process".

The Ministry of Health says the estimated amount is R $ 1.9 billion, but representatives linked to the São Paulo government cite a cost of R $ 2.6 billion. The funds, according to Folha learned, must be released through a provisional measure.

The government announced the deal days after the crisis involving the Coronavac vaccine and President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party), the governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB), and state health secretaries.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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