Brazil, which has the world’s second-highest coronavirus death toll, has decided to join the global COVID-19 vaccine partnership known as COVAX and will earmark 2.5 billion reais ($454 million) for securing vaccines through it, President Jair Bolsonaro‘s office said.
Brazil plans to use the COVAX facility, which gives access to several vaccine candidates in development globally, to buy enough supplies to immunize 10% of its population by the end of 2021, the office said in a statement on Thursday. That should cover Brazil’s “priority populations,” it said.
On Friday, Mexico also signed the agreement, according to Forbes Mexico.
Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina requested more time to commit to COVAX, which is led by the World Health Organization, after the deadline to join passed last Friday, saying they intended to join as soon as possible.
A total of 156 countries had joined the COVAX facility, which aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, the WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance said on Monday.
They expected a further 38 rich countries to join in the coming days and said discussions continued with China. The United States has not signed up, having secured future supplies through bilateral deals.
GAVI CEO Seth Berkley said on Thursday that the Cayman Islands, Chile, Israel, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Arab Emirates had signed up.