Brazil’s health ministry said it intends to buy 30 million more doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine against covid-19, CoronaVac.
The vaccines are to be produced locally by the Butantan public health institute and delivered between October and December, the ministry said on Friday.
Brasil has already ordered 100 million of the vaccine together with Butantan to be delivered by September.
The state-run institute led mass clinical testing of the vaccine in Brazil and is now filling and finishing doses for a national immunization program, with plans for 100% domestic production in early 2022.
A new Butantan facility under construction is slated to produce the vaccine’s active ingredients beginning in January 2022, later than a prior target of the second half of this year. Butantan is negotiating supplies for the extra 20 million doses to keep its finishing line active until the new plant starts up.
The only other COVID-19 shot approved for emergency use in Brazil is the AstraZeneca vaccine.
While the federally funded Fiocruz biomedical center is still awaiting supplies to begin bottling doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Butantan institute has begun finishing and selling doses of CoronaVac.