Brazil will “quite likely” begin vaccinations to stem the coronavirus pandemic in January or February, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said on Wednesday, outlining what would be the most aggressive vaccination timeline proposed by a federal health official in Brazil to date.
Pazuello said on Tuesday that Brazil had signed a letter of intent to receive 70 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer starting in January. He added that the government had lined up 300 million doses in total via agreements from several vaccine manufacturers.
In his Wednesday comments, Pazuello said that the nation should have received doses from AstraZeneca PLC and Pfizer by January. In Sao Paulo state, Governor Joao Doria said on Monday he plans to start vaccinations using Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s Coronavac vaccine on Jan. 25. That vaccine is currently undergoing late stage trials run in Brazil by the Butantan Institute, a biomedical center in the state.
“What’s the prevision? Fifteen million (doses) of AstraZeneca and we’re projecting 500,000 initial doses of Pfizer in January,” said Pazuello, during a televised interview on CNN Brasil.
“With regards to Butantan, I still don’t have the numbers for January. If we look at this, it’s quite likely that between January and February, we’ll be vaccinating the Brazilian people,” he said.
While federal health officials have not offered a specific date for the beginning of vaccinations, several have previously said vaccinations were most likely to begin in March.