Brazil to be first country to get Covid vaccine from India, SII will supply 2 million doses via @ThePrintIndia
New Delhi: Brazil is all set to become the first country in the world that will receive two million doses of Covishield from India next week that will be flown directly from Mumbai to Rio de Janeiro via a special flight, ThePrint has learnt.
The Jair Bolsonaro administration will be procuring the vaccine at a “special rate” under a deal that was finalised between the Brazilian government and Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII) earlier this month, diplomatic sources told ThePrint. SII has manufactured the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine in India.
The deal, sources said, was in the offing for the last few months, but it was finalised only after the arrangement was authorised by the Narendra Modi government earlier this month.
Sources said, the vaccine shipment will leave India only after the Modi government launches the vaccination drive Saturday as India does not want to be seen to be giving priority to other countries over its own people.
According to a Bloomberg report, Brazil’s Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said that the SII will supply the two million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its embassy in New Delhi, made arrangements with the Indian authorities and the SII, following a letter from President Bolsonaro to PM Modi on 8 January, and is supporting international travel issues and procedures, stated a press release issued Wednesday by Brazil.
ThePrint reached SII as well as Bharat Biotech through text messages for comments, but did not receive any response till the time of publishing this report.
Asked about India sending vaccines to Brazil, Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson, MEA, Thursday said “it is too early to give a specific response on the supplies to other countries as we are still assessing production schedules and availability to take decisions in this regard. This may take some time”.
“… so far as requests from countries for vaccines from India, you would recall that the prime minister has already stated that India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity would be used for the benefit of all humanity in fighting this crisis,” Srivastava said at a press conference.