According to Bloomberg News on the 21st, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro criticized a Chinese vaccine being tested in Brazil. And just a day ago, Brazil’s Minister of Health Eduardo Pazuello said that 46 million doses of China’s CoronaVac will be purchased for use nationwide to combat the new coronavirus.
According to reports, Pazulo announced the agreement with the support of Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria (Joao Doria). The purchase will be jointly developed by China Novartis Biotechnology Co., Ltd. and Sao Paulo Butantan Institute (Butantan). Of this new crown vaccine.
In response, Bolsonaro made a public statement on social media on Wednesday morning local time. He wrote: “The Brazilian people will not be anyone’s experiment…Billions of dollars cannot be spent on drugs that are still being tested. My decision is not to buy the vaccines mentioned above.”
The report pointed out that despite Bolsonaro’s claim that his government will not purchase any vaccines until approved by the Ministry of Health and regulatory agencies. But the government has actually allocated 2 billion reais (US$357 million) to invest in a vaccine developed by the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in cooperation with Oxford University. Moreover, the vaccine is currently in the experimental stage.
On Wednesday night, Brazil’s National Health Inspection Agency (Anvisa) stated that a Brazilian volunteer in the AstraZeneca clinical trial had died. A person familiar with the matter said that the volunteer had not actually received the vaccine. At present, AstraZeneca says that vaccine trials will continue.
Regarding Bolsonaro’s opposition to the purchase of Chinese vaccines, Bloomberg analyzed that this may have some political factors.
First, Doria, the governor who strove to buy Chinese vaccines, is considered by the outside world to be Bolsonaro’s biggest opponent in the 2022 re-election campaign. Bolsonaro refers to the Chinese vaccine as “Doria’s Chinese vaccine”, which is very political.
Second, reports claim that this incident highlights the complicated relationship between Bolsonaro and Brazil’s largest trading partner, China. The new crown epidemic provides Bolsonaro with an opportunity to target two main targets at the same time.
Joao Doria, Governor of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil
After Bolsonaro stepped in to express his position, Doria asked Bolsonaro to put aside the political struggle and focus on fighting the epidemic. Other Brazilian governors, including the states of Ceara and Espirito Santo, also made the same statement. They said on Twitter that the decision on the vaccine should not involve ideology or election issues.
Bloomberg said that Brazil’s response to the epidemic has been affected by domestic political struggles and leaky epidemic prevention measures. Since the outbreak, the Brazilian Minister of Health has changed two.
The reason for the resignation of the two health ministers was a disagreement with the Brazilian president on how to handle the epidemic, including Bolsonaro’s opposition to blockade measures and support for the use of unproven new crown therapy.
Earlier this week, the governor of Sao Paulo stated that the Phase III trial of China’s Coxing Vaccine showed that although its effectiveness has yet to be confirmed, it is currently the safest vaccine.
Brazil is one of the countries most affected by the new crown epidemic, with the number of confirmed cases ranking third in the world and the number of deaths ranking second in the world. Previously, Bolsonaro himself and several ministers he appointed had been infected with the new crown virus. On Wednesday, Health Minister Pazulo confirmed that he was also diagnosed with the new crown virus.