The forecast is from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the largest medical research center in Latin America and linked to the Ministry of Health, which will be responsible for the production of the vaccine in Brazil in case the experiments demonstrate its efficacy and safety , according to the agreement announced this Saturday.
Brazil considers that the agreement by which it will have the technology to produce the vaccine against the new coronavirus that has been undergoing experimentation by the University of Oxford and the capacity of its laboratories will allow it to become the supplier of the immunizer for all of Latin America.
“In case the vaccine is shown to be effective, and thanks to the fact that we are the benchmark in the region and that we have great productive capacity, the agreement allows us to become responsible for supplying the vaccine in Latin America,” he said. the president of Fiocruz, Nísia Trindade Lima, quoted in a statement from the entity.
The agreement reached with the University of Oxford and with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, responsible for the most promising vaccine to date against COVID-19, guarantees the Brazilian Ministry of Health initially 100 million doses of the medicine and allows, thanks to the transfer of technology, to produce it in the country later autonomously.
This capacity allows it to supply not only Brazil but also the majority of its neighbors.
The official said that Fiocruz, which is responsible for the development and production of most of the vaccines in Brazil, currently has the capacity to manufacture up to 40 million doses of the vaccine per month without affecting any of its other lines of production.
The agreement announced this Saturday commits Brazil to a disbursement of $ 288 million for the first 100 million doses and for the transfer of technology to produce a vaccine that is already in its third phase of clinical trials (with humans) and is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most advanced and promising.
For this, added Trindade Lima, Fiocruz only needs an investment in its laboratories already foreseen in the agreement and a possible increase in productivity through the establishment of new work shifts and the rearrangement of some productive activities.
The country will initially import all the raw material produced by the AstraZeneca laboratories abroad and will produce the vaccines in the Fiocruz laboratories in Rio de Janeiro.
In a first phase of the agreement, Brazil will pay $ 127 million for 30.4 million doses of the vaccine that it will receive in two batches, one in December 2020 and the other until January 15, 2021.
The ministry will pay $ 161 million for the rights to produce another 70 million doses of a vaccine that will have a production cost of $ 2.30 per unit.
In a second stage, and in case the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is proven, Fiocruz will be able to start producing the active ingredient in the country, making it completely autonomous in the manufacture of the medicine.
Those figures confirm the South American giant as the second country most affected by the disease, behind only the United States, and as one of the new global epicenters of the pandemic.
The agreement was announced at a time when Brazil accumulates 56,197 deaths and 1,284,214 confirmed cases of the disease, according to data from a media consortium that compiles statistics directly from regional health secretariats.
(With information from EFE)