Sao Paulo, June 28 (IANS) The Brazilian Ministry of Health announced on Saturday an agreement with the UKto acquire technology to locally produce a vaccine against Covid-19 that is currently being developed by the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
“If the efficacy is demonstrated, we will have 100 million doses for the Brazilian population,” the ministry said in a statement, explaining that it had accepted a proposal from the laboratory and the British embassy in Brazil to cooperate in the technological development of the so-called ChAdOx1 vaccine, Xinhua reported.
At a press conference, the Secretary of Health Surveillance Arnaldo Correia de Medeiros explained that the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) will manufacture the vaccine using foreign technology.
If testing shows the vaccine is effective, Brazil will initially receive 30.4 million doses in two batches: 15.2 million in December 2020 and the rest in January 2021, with a value of about $127 million.
The Ministry of Health said that it will buy another 70 million doses, for a total of 100 million, at an estimated price of $2.30 per dose.
The vaccine project is currently in phase 3 of development, the last phase before approval and distribution, and testing began this week with the participation of Brazilian volunteers in a study carried out by the Federal University of Sao Paulo.
On Friday, the World Health Organization stated that this is the vaccine that is at the most advanced stage of development.
Brazil has so far reported over 55,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus and more than 1.2 million cases.