Bolsonaro said his government had agreed to buy the Chinese vaccine

A day after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro told his health minister, a Chinese coronavirus vaccine was being tested’ in the country.


Bolsonaro said his government had agreed to buy the Chinese vaccine

Eduardo Pazuello, the third official in charge of the Ministry of Health since the outbreak of the epidemic, under the supervision of Joao Doria, purchased a coronary vaccine manufactured by China's Sinovac Biotech Limited in partnership with the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo. An agreement was announced’ for Bolsonaro's main political enemy.


The deal sparked negative comments from more Bolsonaro ideological supporters who oppose buying the vaccine from China. On Wednesday morning, the president took to social media to publicly reject the deal.


"Brazilians were nobody's guinea pigs," he wrote on his Facebook and Twitter pages, adding that billions of dollars could not be spent’ on drugs that are still being tested. "My decision is not to take the vaccine."


A spokesman for Sinovac declined to comment.


The incident points to Bolsonaro’s controversial relationship with China, Brazil's largest trading partner. After sharply criticizing the Asian country during the 2018 election campaign, he sought warmth from Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a visit last year. But just a few months ago, lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, his son, accused the "Chinese dictatorship" of contracting the coronavirus. The president has also made his alliance with US President Donald Trump a central part of his foreign policy.


"China and Brazil have fully cooperated in controlling the epidemic," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Xiao Lijian said in a briefing on Thursday. He said China's vaccine guides the world, and "once it is deployed and used, all vaccines will be of great benefit to the public."


The Coronavac's episode gave Bolsonaro the opportunity to hit two of his main goals simultaneously. The president said his name was "Zhao Doria's Chinese Vaccine". He said his government would not buy any vaccine before the approval of the Ministry of Health and regulator Anvisa. Nevertheless, the federal government has already allocated 2 billion ($357 million) for the AstraZeneca shot a manufacturing contract in partnership with Oxford University, which is in a similar trial phase.


Later on Wednesday, Brazil's health ministry, Anvisa, said it had received information that a Brazilian participant in the AstraZeneca case had died. A person familiar with the matter said the volunteer had not received the actual dose of the vaccine and the company said trials would continue.



Butantan during a meeting between Doria and Pazuello on Tuesday. It has been decided’ to sign a preliminary agreement to take 46 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine. According to a statement issued after the meeting, the purchase would be made’ only after regulator Anvisa approved the drug.


After Bolsonaro’s intervention, Doria told’ the president to stop fighting and focus on epidemics. Other governors weighed in, along with leaders from the states of Sierra and Espirito Santo, who say vaccine decisions will not involve ideological or electoral issues.


Affected Minister

Bolsonaro and a handful of his ministers have already been infected’ with the virus. Pazuello confirmed on Wednesday that he has also had a positive experience for Coved-19.


Brazil's response to the virus has been met’ with controversy and conflict. Bolsonaro’s two health ministers overcame differences this year over tackling the epidemic, including lockdown measures and the use of untreated therapies. Doria and Bolsonaro have also formally discussed everything from public to social distance to the use of facemasks, and whether vaccines should be mandatory during a troubled year.


Next month's local elections have added to the public debate.



Earlier this week, the Sao Paulo government said a Phase 3 trial for Coronavirus had found that the vaccine was still the safest available, although its effectiveness still needed to be proven.


The synovial vaccine relies on an inactive version of the novel coronavirus to teach the human immune system to recognize and destroy the real force. After completing initial human testing in China, the company has begun the final phase of human testing in Brazil and Indonesia.


Brazil has been one of the countries most affected by the virus, with the third and highest death toll in the world. 


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