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1.5 million Coronavac doses delivered to Brazilian government by Butantan

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A new batch of 1.5 million doses of the Coronavac vaccine, developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac and produced in Brazil by the Butantan Institute, was delivered this Monday, April 12th, to the Ministry of Health.

With the delivery of the vaccines, the total of Coronavac units passed on by the São Paulo government-owned institution to the Ministry of Health since January reaches 39.7 million doses. The doses will be sent to the PNI (National Program of Immunization) to be distributed to the states, proportionally to their population.

The Butantan expects to reach the number of doses promised in the first agreement with the Ministry of Health, of 46 million doses by the end of April. (Photo internet reproduction)

Thus, Butantan expects to reach the number of doses promised in the first agreement with the Ministry of Health, of 46 million doses by the end of April. In August, the total should reach the 100 million doses contracted by the Ministry of Health.

São Paulo governor João Doria (PSDB) accompanied the delivery alongside Health Secretary Jean Gorinchteyn and Butantan’s director Dimas Tadeu Covas on Monday morning.

“We will fulfill the agreement reached with the Ministry of Health to deliver 46 million doses by April 30, and from May 1 to September 30, another 54 million doses will be delivered,” said Doria.

Last Thursday, April 8th, after reports that there were no more raw materials in the country to produce the Coronavac, Doria announced the release of two new shipments from China of the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient, necessary for the formulation and packaging of Coronavac in the country, with arrival expected by April 20th, for the first batch, and by the end of the month, for the second batch.

The 3,000 liters of the API from the first batch will be enough to produce 5 million new doses of Coronavac. With the second batch, another 5 million doses of the vaccine will be produced, totaling 10 million doses by the end of April.

Asked if the delivery of raw material on April 20th would be enough to deliver the doses in the expected time since it takes on average 15 days to pack new doses, the governor said that the deadlines would be met.

According to Covas, the raw material already existing in the institute will be sufficient to meet the delivery schedule of the doses to the PNI until the arrival of the new batch of supplies. “We still have doses for delivery next week, and therefore we will meet the schedule,” he said.

Doria also questioned the other doses of PNI obtained by the federal government from Oxford University/AstraZeneca, in partnership with Fiocruz.

“Where are the 400 million doses that the federal government promised to Brazilians? Today only the Butantan is supplying vaccines to Brazil”, he pointed out. About 8 out of every 10 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered in the country are Coronavac.

The vaccine against Covid-19 is currently the main tool to prevent the worsening of severe cases and new hospitalizations, in addition to social distancing and the use of masks. Last Saturday, April 10th, Brazil passed the sad mark of 350,000 deaths from Covid-19.

On Sunday, April 11th, the country registered the second-highest rolling average of deaths, with 3,109. Last week, the state of São Paulo alone reached 1,389 deaths in a single day.

In São Paulo, until last Sunday, 2,643,534 confirmed cases and 82,917 Covid-19 deaths were registered. According to data from the state health department, the number of new hospitalizations in São Paulo continues to decline. Today, there are 26,432 people hospitalized with severe cases of the disease, of which 12,213 patients are in ICU beds and 14,219 inward beds.

In the last week, the city of São Paulo registered a decrease in the incidence of severe cases of Covid-19 in the elderly. The reduction, associated with vaccination, can be seen by looking at the incidence rate of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) from Covid-19 in people aged 85 to 89 and 90 years and older when comparing the first week of January, before vaccination started, to the second week of March: in January, the SARS rate in people aged 85 to 89 was 7.66 times higher than in the general population, falling to 5.23 in March; for people aged 90 and older, that rate was 8.18 times higher than the general average in January and fell to 3.72 in March.

Additionally, the nationwide vaccination campaign against the flu began on Monday, April 12th. The supply of 80 million doses of the influenza vaccine will be 100% provided by the Butantan Institute, which already has the doses ready for delivery to the Ministry of Health.

The influenza vaccine is currently produced in a plant separate from Coronavac’s bottling plant, and its manufacture does not interfere with the production of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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