The Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) met on Sunday in Brasilia to decide whether to authorize two rival vaccines against Covid-19: the British AstraZeneca made in India and the Chinese CoronaVac, both developed in partnership with Brazil.
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The meeting, which began at 1:00 p.m. GMT and is expected to last five hours, comes in the midst of a standoff between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and the governor of the powerful State of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, rivals to lead the vaccination campaign. in this country of 212 million inhabitants where the pandemic has already killed nearly 210,000.
The Chinese CoronaVac vaccine is developed in partnership with the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, while the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine is produced in Bombay by the Serum laboratory in partnership with the Fiocruz Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Health.
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Six million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine are already in Sao Paulo pending authorization to start a vaccination campaign in the state of Sao Paulo, defying the Ministry of Health who wants these doses to be used in a manner simultaneous in all Brazilian states.
Bolsonaro had to announce on Friday a new postponement, "
of one or two days
", of the plane to deliver from India two million doses of vaccines, in order to launch the vaccination campaign in Brazil, hit by a violent second wave epidemic.
The departure of an Airbus A330, equipped with special containers to ensure that vaccines are kept at the right temperature, was initially scheduled for Thursday and then for Friday.
The pandemic is wreaking havoc in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, which began on Friday to transfer patients to other states, due to the overload of its hospitals suffering from severe lack of oxygen.
Some scientists believe the situation is likely to have deteriorated due to the presence in the region of a variant of the coronavirus which could prove to be more contagious, such as those which have appeared in the United Kingdom or South Africa. .
Doria and Bolsonaro could face each other in the next presidential elections in 2022.