Get 40% Off
⚠ Earnings Alert! Which stocks are poised to surge?
See the stocks on our ProPicks radar. These strategies gained 19.7% year-to-date.
Unlock full list

Brazil eyes July for full local production of AstraZeneca vaccine

Published 03/15/2021, 03:07 PM
Updated 03/15/2021, 03:10 PM
© Reuters. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination, in Rio de Janeiro

By Rodrigo Viga

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil could begin full production of AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) Plc's COVID-19 vaccine by July if regulators allow, an official at biomedical center Fiocruz said, moving up by 100 days the timeline to produce shots without imported ingredients.

Fiocruz Vice President Marco Krieger told Reuters that, if health regulator Anvisa waives some controls, the biomedical institute could move up the Sept. 30 target date for 100% local production of the shot by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

"This would be important at a time when Brazil is facing vaccine shortages," Krieger said in an interview on Friday.

Delays in getting supplies from India and China have slowed Fiocruz's finishing line and Brazil's vaccination program. Only 6% of Brazil's adult population has had their first of two shots.

Federally funded Fiocruz, based in Rio de Janeiro, has delivered 4 million ready-made vaccines from India and is filling and finishing shots with active ingredients from China. Delivery of those doses, starting this week, is expected tototal 100.4 million by July. Fully local production of the vaccine is scheduled for September, when Fiocruz plans to start delivery of 110 million doses for Brazil's immunization program.

Given the urgent need for vaccines in Brazil, which lost more than 12,000 lives to the pandemic last week alone, Krieger said he hoped Anvisa would help to shorten that timeline.

As the vaccine is already in use in Europe and elsewhere, Krieger said Fiocruz may be able to get Anvisa's approval after the regulator supervises production of just one batch, rather than the customary three batches.

Along with the 4 million AstraZeneca doses, Brazil's government has received 20.6 million doses of CoronaVac, made by China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd and bottled by Sao Paulo's Butantan Institute with active ingredients from China.

On Friday, Anvisa granted final approval for AstraZeneca's vaccine. CoronaVac has been approved for emergency use.

Krieger said output from Fiocruz should reach 1 million doses a day by the end of March. By then, Fiocruz will have received another shipment of ingredients from China to make 30 million doses, he said.

Krieger did not address the British vaccine being halted last week in Denmark, Norway and Iceland over bleeding and clotting issues.

© Reuters. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination, in Rio de Janeiro

AstraZeneca said on Sunday a review of safety data of people vaccinated with its COVID-19 vaccine has shown no evidence of increased risk of blood clots.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.