January 26, 21 - 1:47 pm - LABS

Brazilian government endorses private companies to buy vaccine against COVID-19

According to the newspapers O Globo and Folha de S.Paulo, the Brazilian government sent a letter to AstraZeneca allowing Brazilian private companies to acquire a batch of 33 million doses of vaccine. The government’s only condition is that companies donate half of the batch to Brazil’s public health system.

The matter was discussed with President Jair Bolsonaro last week. To effectively acquire the doses, the companies will need authorization for import and emergency use of the vaccine by Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa.

According to government officials who spoke with Folha de S.Paulo, Bolsonaro’s administration decided not to oppose the purchase because the lot that is negotiated by private firms is much more expensive than what has already been acquired by the Ministry of Health. Each dose costs $23.79, a price, according to these sources, well above the market price.

On Tuesday, in a statement to the newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, however, AstraZeneca said it will not sell vaccines to the private sector. “All doses of the vaccine are available through agreements signed with governments and multilateral organizations around the world, (…) it is not possible to make vaccines available to the private market,” said the company.