Brazil targets 150m extra virus vaccines

·1-min read

Brazil is in talks to buy up to 150 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for next year, as the country continues to wrestle with the world's second-highest death toll from the pandemic.

The plan was revealed in a document sent by the Health Ministry to a Senate inquiry probing Brazil's handling of the virus outbreak, after senators requested information on plans for the country's vaccination campaign in 2022.

The Health Ministry said it was negotiating the purchase of 100 million doses with Pfizer, with a possibility of acquiring another 50 million.

On top of the Pfizer vaccine, Brazil will rely on the AstraZeneca shot which it produces domestically - currently using imported active ingredients.

With almost 600,000 fatalities, Brazil has the world's second-highest COVID-19 death toll behind the United States, which has recorded 710,168 deaths according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticised by health experts for his mismanagement of the outbreak, with the right-wing leader railing against lockdowns and regularly refusing to wear a mask in public.

Despite a slow start, Brazil has ramped up a successful vaccination campaign.

More than 70 per cent of Brazilians have now received a first dose, compared to 65 per cent in the United States.

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