The aircraft from Brazil is equipped with a special temperature-control system to store the consignment from Pune
A Brazilian plane will fly to India on Wednesday to fetch the first two million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine purchased by the government’s Fiocruz biomedical institute, Brazil’s health minister said on Wednesday.
The vaccine was developed by AstraZeneca Plc in partnership with Oxford University.
The move follows a request from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in a letter last week to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the vaccines without jeopardizing the Indian vaccination program, reports The Indian Express.
Brazil’s Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said the documentation for bringing in the vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India is ready, as reported by Reuters.
The aircraft from Brazil is equipped with a special temperature-control system to store the consignment from Pune. Indian and Brazilian authorities are working to ensure all necessary clearances, reported the Indian Express.
The flight was originally expected to land in Mumbai on Friday but is likely to be delayed by a day, said Reuters quoting Brazil’s Health Ministry as citing “international logistical issues.”
The vaccine can be distributed only after federal health regulator Anvisa grants permission for its emergency use, he noted.
Brazil’s Anvisa scheduled a meeting for next Sunday to decide on the emergency use of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford as well as one by developed by China’s Sinovac Biotec.
While the first consignment will be from Serum, Brazil has also selected Bharat Biotech’s vaccine, sources said.
The Brazilian government is under pressure amid the slow pace of the country’s vaccine rollout. Inoculations have yet to begin in Latin America’s largest country and Anvisa has not yet approved any vaccine for use.
In New Delhi, meanwhile, with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka also looking at India, officials said the country’s low-cost vaccine could turn out to be part of its “vaccine diplomacy.”
Also, India considers Bangladesh as a priority country among its neighbours to receive Covid-19 vaccine, a government official said on Thursday as India is set to launch its world’s largest massive vaccination drive on Saturday, reports BSS.
When asked about specific date of exporting India’s vaccines to Bangladesh, the official familiar with the developments and preferring not to be named avoided giving a direct reply saying: “Bangladesh will get the vaccine soon as it is a priority country for India.”
“In so far as requests from countries for vaccines from India, you would recall that the Prime Minister has already stated that India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity would be used for the benefit of all humanity in fighting this crisis,” said the Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava.