SAO PAOLO – The administration of Brazil’s president, Jair Bolonaro, has backed down from criticism of Chinese vaccines and agreed to buy 100 million doses of a shot being developed by China’s Synovac, as Latin America covid-19 cases एक confronts a posthole surge.
Mr. Bolsonaro, a former army captain who led President Trump in bashing China, had long maligned Sinovac’s vaccine, which has been tested by a state research center in a partnership backed by its political rival, Sao Paulo Gov. João Doria. Only two months ago, Mr. Bolsonaro told his supporters that Coronavac, without presenting evidence, could kill or deactivate them, and refused to buy it.
But in the last few months, the Chinese vaccine has emerged as one of Brazil’s best bets to fight an epidemic that has cost the lives of more than 200,000 people here, second only to the US
The Ministry of Health said late Thursday that it had signed a contract with the Butanan Institute, the São Paulo State Research Center, to test and produce Coronavac to purchase 46 million doses. The ministry said it has the option to buy another 54 million, enough to vaccinate 50 million people with two dose-shots or a quarter of Brazil’s population.
Latin America is running for safe doses as cases grow across the region. More than a thousand people tested positive in Latin America this week, following several government warnings and in the early summer of the Southern Hemisphere held large family gatherings on holidays and on packed beaches. With only 8% of the world’s population, Latin America accounts for about 30% of Kovid-19 deaths.