Brazil's northeastern states drop plan to buy Russia's COVID-19 vaccine - Metro US

Brazil’s northeastern states drop plan to buy Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Vials labeled Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine

BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazil’s northeastern states suspended plans to import Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine due to the conditions set by the country’s health regulator Anvisa, Piauí state’s governor, Wellington Dias, said on Thursday.

Dias met with representatives of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that is marketing the vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, and said he was told that the 37 million doses originally destined for Brazil would be supplied to Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia.

Anvisa has withheld Sputnik emergency use authorization in Brazil, but last month allowed northeastern states to import 2 million doses under strict conditions that included testing the vaccine to detect adenovirus replication before using it, as well as testing and monitoring people receiving the shots.

RDIF said the northeastern states consortium was still committed to buying the Russian vaccine and denied that doses reserved for Brazil would be destined for other countries.

The Russian fund said a shipment scheduled for Friday had been suspended due to “new requirements imposed by Anvisa in recent days.”

Anvisa said in a statement that no new conditions had been set for Sputnik imports and that the 22 conditions decided in June were needed to fill “information gaps.”

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Bill Berkrot and David Gregorio)

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