São Paulo Governor Joao Doria Friday blamed Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for a diplomatic crisis with China, which led to the suspension of supplies to manufacturing vaccines against the coronavirus.
The Butantan Institute, which depends from the state of São Paulo, Friday stopped manufacturing the Coronavac immunizer due to the lack of Active Pharmacological Input (IFA), it was announced.
Doria said that there was a diplomatic friction caused by disastrous statements by the federal government against the government of China and against the vaccine itself.
The Governor added that Brazilians do not think like the President of the Republic, Brazilians continue to thank China for helping save lives, said the Conservative Doria of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party.
The offences against the people of China also offend the Brazilian people, said Doria, who admitted there is no date for production to resume.
The state of São Paulo has been negotiating with the Chinese Embassy to unblock the shipment of 10,000 litres of IFA to generate 18 million doses of Coronavac. According to the state of São Paulo, China is delaying the shipment due to bureaucratic problems that could be resolved if the Brazilian government publicly expressed its apologies for Bolsonaro's remarks.
On May 5, Bolsonaro hinted that China was behind the creation of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in the context of a chemical and bacteriological warfare of global scope and that the pandemic favoured the Asian giant economically.
Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has said that China invented the coronavirus and that the oriental vaccines were not of a very good quality, to which Chinese Ambassador Yang Wanming replied by reminding Guedes that about 85% of the immunizers and supplies used in Brazil are made in China.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Bolsonaro declared himself against vaccines in general, not just Chinese ones, and promised that none would ever be applied. The 66-year-old Bolsonaro has so far not taken any vaccine while other, younger members of his administration have.
Carlos Murillo, CEO for Latin America of the US laboratory Pfizer, said Thursday before the Parliamentary Investigations Commission (CPI), that Bolsonaro had leet the chance to purchase 70 million doses go by. Pfizer had, according to Murillo, made at least three proposals for the sale of vaccines in 2020, all left unattended by Bolsonaro and then Health Minister, General Eduardo Pazuello.
Brazil finally signed a contract with Pfizer in March this year for 2.6 million doses. Up until Thursday, more than 56 million vaccines had been applied in Brazil, of which some 45 million were covered by the Chinese drugs Coronavac and 10 million by the British AstraZeneca.
The stoppage of the Butantan plant in São Paulo should have a significant impact on the rate of immunization throughout Brazil since Pfizer shipments alone cannot compensate for the lack of Butantan's output.
In addition to that, the Fiocruz institute in Rio de Janeiro which depends on the national government has also been forced to stop production of the Astra Zeneca immunizer because it also uses Chinese-made IFA.
Fiocruz Vice President Marco Krieger, said in an interview published Friday in the newspaper O Globo, that there were difficulties that we could not overcome that prevented meeting the exaggerated expectations regarding the production of vaccines.