The Director of the Butantan Institute on Tuesday contradicted the words of Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou, assuring that there is not yet a closed agreement between the Uruguayan government and the Chinese laboratory Sinovac for the purchase of the vaccine against Covid-19. However, the institute affirmed that there is a pre-agreement and talks are still ongoing. Lacalle Pou announced on Saturday at a press conference the purchase of 1.75 million doses from this laboratory.
The Butantan Institute, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is in charge of negotiating the sale of Coronavac with Latin American countries. As director of the intermediary institute, Dimas Covas was consulted by the Montevideo radio program No toquen nada to confirm the purchase of the vaccine and affirmed that although there is a prearrangement consisting in the sale of around 1.5 million doses, the purchase is not closed, according to the investigation of journalist Denise Mota.
At Saturday's press conference, Lacalle Pou announced that 1,750,000 doses of Coronavac would arrive in Uruguay as of March, although there is a possibility that a first batch could arrive by the end of February.
According to Covas, the only countries in the region which signed the delivery of vaccines with Sinovac were Chile and Honduras.
The Uruguayan president announced that the Sinovac vaccines are in addition to another 2 million doses purchased from Pfizer/Biontech and 1.5 million from the Covax fund. Uruguay has already announced the purchase of four ultra-freezers for ultra-low temperature storage of the Pfizer vaccine.
MercoPress tried to contact government sources to inquire about the Brazilian institute's statements but has not yet received an official response.
Coronavac, the vaccine manufactured by Sinovac, began to be applied in Sao Paulo on January 17 and throughout Brazil as of Monday 18. The Butantan Institute depends on the government of Sao Paulo and the application of the vaccine has generated a political confrontation between the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and the governor of Sao Paulo, João Doria. The government of São Paulo was the one that initiated the talks with the Chinese laboratory to acquire the vaccines.