The US government announced on Monday (21) the dispatch of more than 14 million doses of vaccine against Covid-19 to Brazil and other countries in Latin America. The sharing will be done, again, via Covax, an initiative linked to the World Health Organization (WHO) for the distribution of vaccines in developing countries.
The new doses are in addition to the 6 million vaccines that, in early June, the White House had already announced it would send to the region, a small number given the 438 million inhabitants living in Latin American countries and of the Caribbean.
Brazil will have to share the doses with Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica and other Caribbean countries.
The amount is a slice of the 80 million vaccines that US President Joe Biden has announced he will ship to other countries around the world in the coming weeks. As of June 3, the White House had released details of sharing 25 million doses – including 6 million for Latin America – and has now established the roadmap for the fate of the remaining 55 million.
The doses fall within the scope of the three immunizers already approved for use in the United States – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – while AstraZeneca’s drugs have yet to be approved by the FDA, the U.S. regulatory agency, for be shared with other countries.
As in the first announcement, Brazil will only receive vaccines through Covax, and it is not on the list of countries to which the United States will also send direct share vaccines. Countries that will also receive doses as bilateral donations include Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Afghanistan, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, among others.
According to the plan announced by the United States government, approximately 75% of the doses are distributed through Covax, depending on the participation of each country in the consortium, while 25% are sent directly by the United States to countries considered to be partners of the Americans and which , according to Biden, government authorities are experiencing a very serious Covid epidemic.
In addition to the 14 million doses to Latin America, the United States will send 16 million doses to Asia and 10 million to African countries via Covax.
The White House is under international pressure to help the poorest and developing countries fight the pandemic, and the Brazilian government – through the embassy in Washington and Itamaraty – is asking for access to some of the immunizing agents.
The Brazilian government first approached the White House in March, only after the US press reported that Biden was considering giving doses and after other countries had already made the same request, such as Mexico.
With the denial of the Jair Bolsonaro government, new variants and a very slow vaccination rate, Brazil is slipping into the fight against the pandemic and is today one of the epicenters of the crisis, with more than 500,000 dead. The United States, for its part, is a leader in the death toll – with nearly 600,000 victims – but has seen cases, deaths and hospitalizations plummet amid a successful mass vaccination campaign.
The White House bought enough vaccine to immunize the entire population three times and applied at least one dose to 53% of Americans, but it has been criticized for prioritizing internal vaccination, even with excessive doses, while several regions of the world are devastated by the crisis. , as is the case in Brazil.