Another Latin American country signed a contract to buy vaccines from Pfizer. This time it is Brazil, the giant of the region, which announced an understanding for the acquisition of 100 million doses.

An advance of a million vaccines had already been delivered at the end of April, but the largest proportion of the inoculants will arrive in the second half of the year.

The country governed by Jair Bolsonaro thus joins other states such as Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Bolivia that not only signed contracts with the American laboratory, but they have already applied Pfizer vaccines to part of their population (See Which Latin American countries received doses of Pfizer in the last seven days).

The contrast is Argentina. Last year was the scene of phase 3 tests for the development of the formula that eventually ended up being approved by international regulators.

He also had priority to sign an agreement for the purchase of vaccines but the negotiation was frustrated and the national government decided to give impetus to negotiations with other laboratories that took longer than expected to deliver the compromised applications.

Recently, President Alberto Fernández announced that he has resumed the dialogue with Pfizer authorities for the purchase of vaccines, but so far there has been no specific announcement on the matter.

This morning, Argentina received 500,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, whose Phase III reports were recently rated as deficient by the prestigious scientific publication The Lancet.

Health Minister Carla Vizzotti promised that almost 4 million from AstraZeneca will arrive before the end of May, a contract that was largely paid in advance last year and is overdue.

A health worker prepares a dose of the Astrazeneca vaccine against covid-19. EFE / André Coelho / Archive

A health worker prepares a dose of the Astrazeneca vaccine against covid-19.

The Brazilian Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, was in charge of making the announcement about the progress in the negotiations with Pfizer.

The Health portfolio indicated that it has already signed the purchase contract and is awaiting the signing of the laboratory, with which contracts have previously been obtained.

Queiroga specified that the “authorization” for this new purchase was granted by the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and defended that Brazil is the “fifth country that has more doses of vaccines distributed to its population.” “And we have the potential to vaccinate more than 2.4 million Brazilians a day,” he added.

He also specified that the Pfizer inoculators to be purchased will be delivered at the end of this year, “more than 30 million in September and the rest in December.”

So, we have vaccines, of recognized efficacy, tested by the strictest health agencies in the world and we are going to vaccinate all Brazilians.” Said the minister.

According to the media consortium that analyzes COVID-19 on a daily basis, Brazil applied 53.9 million doses, with 36.5 million people having received at least one dose and 18.3 million having also acquired the second.

On the other hand, Bolsoon decided that his government allocate 5.5 billion reais (more than $ 1 billion) for the production and distribution of vaccines against COVID-19, including 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca immunizer.

The General Secretariat of the Presidency reported that the money must guarantee the supply of these doses in the second half of the year and that it will be a complement to the 20 billion reais (a little more than 3,800 million dollars) destined at the end of last year for the purchase of immunizers.

In a statement, the Executive said: “Given this exceptional context derived from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has too negative impacts on public health, the economy and the development of other public policies, it is imperative to open the extraordinary loan in question”.

And he added: “The Brazilian State redoubles its efforts to guarantee the regular offer of services and programs aimed at the general population, especially the most vulnerable, granting public agencies and agents access to instruments capable of mitigating the harmful effects of pandemic in Brazilian society ”.

The decision of the Brazilian Executive comes at a time of strong questions about vaccination. To the government of Jair Bolsonaro, he is blamed for the slowness in the inoculation process of the population.

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