Brazil to receive ingredients from China for 25 million vaccine shots in coming days - Metro US

Brazil to receive ingredients from China for 25 million vaccine shots in coming days

FILE PHOTO: COVID-19 pandemic in Rio de Janeiro

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil will receive ingredients from China to produce up to 25 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday and early next week, Health Ministry and political officials said on Monday.

Rodrigo Cruz, executive secretary at the Health Ministry, said the Fiocruz biomedical center will receive two lots of ingredients for 18 million AstraZeneca shots on Saturday, while Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria said the state’s Butantan biomedical institute will receive ingredients for 7 million shots on May 26.

“The good news is that today I received confirmation that these two lots will be shipped on May 21. It’s enough to produce approximately 18 million doses,” Cruz told a congressional committee hearing on the COVID-19 crisis.

Cruz said the two lots were originally meant to be shipped separately on May 21 and 28, arriving the following day.

“Good news! The arrival of the new batch with 4 thousand liters of inputs, capable of producing 7 million vaccine shots, is scheduled for 05/26,” Doria tweeted.

Both Fiocruz and Butantan depend on ingredients from China to produce the two most common COVID-19 vaccines being used in Brazil.

Butantan last week stalled production due to a lack of supplies from China’s Sinovac Biotech, while Fiocruz said production of AstraZeneca doses would stop this week until new supplies arrived.

Only 17% of Brazil’s residents have received at least one dose of vaccine and only 8% have been fully vaccinated. The country ranks 30th in the world based on first doses given, according to a Reuters analysis.

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro and Maria Carolina Marcello in Brasilia; Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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