Jan 23, 2021 - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Picture of a big box filled with AstraZeneca vaccines arriving in Brazil

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

The big picture: Brazil started its vaccination campaign Monday, per the New York Times, using China's Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine — which was found to be 78% effective in Brazil trials.

  • Brazil’s Butantan Institute, a medical research institute in São Paulo, made 6 million CoronaVac doses imported from China available, and it used materials imported from China to bottle an additional 4.8 million doses, per AP.
  • A flight from India planned for last week was delayed, derailing Brazil's plan to kick off its immunization with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Brazil’s federally funded Fiocruz Institute has an agreement to produce up to 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
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