Brazil suspends purchase of 37 million Sputnik V vaccines
Regional governments of the nine northeastern states of Brazil announced the provisional suspension the contract they had signed with the Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Sovereign Fund to import 37 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus.
The suspension was due to the fact that the Brazilian health authorities approved the use of Russian serum in Brazil but with several restrictions, since the Ministry of Health has not included this vaccine in its national vaccination campaign.
The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorized the importation of Russian Sputnik-V vaccines in June, but only in “certain specific batches” and on an “exceptional and temporary basis”.
The regulatory body established a series of “conditions” for the use of the Russian vaccine in Brazil and limited its application to just 1% of people in each of the northeastern states.
The suspension of the contract was announced in a statement from the Northeast Consortium, the forum that brings together the leaders of the nine districts in this region, the poorest in the country.
According to this consortium, the interruption of the agreement came when the delivery of the first batch of a million vaccines was expected due to “new limitations imposed by Anvisa, the non-inclusion of the vaccine in the National Plan of Vaccination and the lack of an import license ”. So far, the only vaccines included in the national vaccination plan are those from the AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Pfizer and Janssen laboratories, the use of which has been authorized by Anvisa.
“It is unfortunate. Brazil is experiencing a high mortality situation, with around a thousand deaths per day, and we have vaccines available, but prevented from entering the country due to a decision by Anvisa,” he said. declared the governor of the State of Piauí, Wellington Dias, president of the North-East Consortium.
Dias said the contract will be suspended until Anvisa authorizes the use of the serum on a permanent and unconditional basis. “We had already suspended the delivery of the first vaccines, and now we agree to suspend the contract until we have the authorization and the release of Sputnik V in Brazil,” he added.
For its part, the Russian Sovereign Fund has indicated that the doses that would be sent to Brazil will now be distributed to Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia.
In turn, and in a statement released Thursday, Anvisa clarified that it conditioned the import of Sputnik on compliance with 22 requirements given the need to “fill the gaps in existing information in terms of quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine. ”.
“Anvisa affirms that it did not add any other conditions” and stresses that “it has been guided by absolute transparency in all its decisions in favor of the protection of the health of the population,” the note said.
Brazil, with more than 560,000 deaths and 20 million infections, is the second country with the most victims of the pandemic and the third with the most cases, only surpassed by the United States and India.
News being updated.