Itamaraty said on Monday (10) that she was working in coordination with other government agencies to obtain inputs, drugs and vaccines, and said she had worked actively for the country to join the Covax Facility, a consortium whose objective is to provide vaccines to poor countries. .
The ministry spoke out after Folha’s report revealed that former Chancellor Ernesto Araújo had mobilized Brazil’s diplomatic apparatus to guarantee the country’s supply of chloroquine, even after the WHO (World Organization for health) halted clinical trials with the drug and after medical associations warned of the ineffectiveness and risk of side effects.
The information is contained in diplomatic cables and reports from people involved in the negotiations. The former minister, who resigned at the end of March, will be heard at the Covid IPC next week.
The report also showed that Itamaraty’s commitment to guarantee vaccines and drugs from China was much lower than that dedicated to chloroquine. Until November 2020, the ministry had not sent specific instructions to diplomats to prospect potential suppliers of vaccines or medicines in China, according to people involved in the negotiations.
On Monday evening, the ministry sent a note stating that “it is coordinating with other Brazilian government agencies to obtain supplies, drugs and vaccines in the fight against Covid-19”.
According to the ministry, since the onset of the pandemic, “overseas posts have maintained contact, in their jurisdictions, with government authorities, laboratories and pharmaceutical companies involved in research, development, production and supply of inputs and vaccines against Covid-19 ”. .
Itamaraty did not explain why she continued to send telegrams requesting a facilitation of the chloroquine supply in June, when there were already several warnings about the drug’s ineffectiveness and side effects.
In the note, the ministry also states that “the MRE coordinated Brazil’s entry into the Covax Facility, launched in June of last year, and supported the Ministry of Health to enable the signing, in September 2020, of the contract with GAVI for the supply of vaccines to the country “.
During negotiations with the consortium, the Brazilian government chose to order only the minimum quantity of vaccines, sufficient to vaccinate only 10% of the population. Covax allowed the government to opt for vaccine coverage of 10% to 50% of the population, but Brazil only asked for 10%.
Itamaraty also reports that in August 2020, overseas posts “were instructed to obtain systematic information on vaccine projects, initiatives and / or partnerships, including availability and price forecasts. , information on efficacy and safety and on regulatory approval in the country, technology. transfer mechanisms, etc. The information received was shared with other relevant government agencies. Similar requests were sent later, following the same procedure “.
According to information obtained by the report, the Foreign Ministry has only acted more assertively in China this year, in a request to accelerate the delivery of supplies for the AstraZeneca vaccine, a partnership with Fiocruz sewn by the federal government.
The posts were only activated when there was fear of a delay in the schedule, people involved in the negotiations said.
According to the ministry, “the National Agency for Health Surveillance (Anvisa) also had the support of Itamaraty in contacts with producers and in carrying out technical inspection missions in other countries, as well as in the performance of this agency in international exchange forums. information and regulatory convergence “.
Itamaraty affirms in the note that “thanks to the success of the inspection missions carried out in China, it was possible, for example, to make possible the emergency use of the vaccines which allowed the start of the vaccination process in Brazil, in January of this year “.