President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday (21) that he will not allow the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, announced the day before by Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello. The vaccine is being developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac in partnership with the Butantan Institute and is supported by João Doria, the president’s political rival.
Bolsonaro said he would only buy drugs with efficacy “scientifically proven by the Ministry of Health and certified by Anvisa”. According to Butantan’s director, Dimas Covas, CoronaVac has already proven itself safe, but the results of the effectiveness tests against covid-19 have not yet been released.
According to an article published by Poder 360, the president would still have sent a message to his ministers saying: “We will not buy vaccine from China”.
Declaration contradicts government acts
“For my government, any vaccine, before being made available to the population, must be scientifically proven by the Ministry of Health and certified by Anvisa. The Brazilian people will not be anyone’s guinea pig. There is no justification for a billionaire financial contribution in a drug that has not even exceeded its testing phase. Given the above, my decision is not to purchase the vaccine, “said the president on social media.
The statement, however, contradicts the government’s recent efforts to support the use of chloroquine, a drug whose effectiveness against covid-19 has been denied by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Until July, the Brazilian Army produced 3 million pills of the drug. Production costs, which exceed R $ 1.5 million, are under investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Court of Accounts.
Despite his position, Jair Bolsonaro also signed on August 6 a Provisional Measure that frees R $ 1.9 billion for the purchase of 100 million doses of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with the Astrazeneca laboratory. Like CoronaVac, the formula is not authorized by Anvisa.