The South American nation is struggling to contain a nationwide outbreak of coronavirus infections and deaths.
Brazil is in talks with the United States to import excess COVID-19 vaccines, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, as the South American nation struggles to stem the rise in coronavirus infections and deaths.
The ministry tweeted that with the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, it has been in talks with the US government since March 13 “to allow Brazil to import vaccines from the surplus available in the United States.”
The announcement comes after the administration of US President Joe Biden said on Thursday it would “to lend“2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico and another 1.5 million doses in Canada during a excess doses.
The government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faces increased pressure to explain his government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the slow deployment of vaccines.
The country is seeing an increase in coronavirus infections and deaths, as more than 290,000 people have died since the start of the pandemic – the second highest in the world after the United States.
More than 11.8 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Brazil to date, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Since March 13, the Brazilian government, through Itamaraty and the Embassy in Washington, in coordination with the Department of Health, has been negotiating with the US government to allow Brazil to import vaccines from the United States. surplus available in the United States.
– Itamaraty Brazil 🇧🇷 (@Itamaraty_EN) March 20, 2021
The country’s healthcare network is also on the brink of collapse in several parts of the country, as local and state officials have tried in recent weeks to impose tighter restrictions in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.
Rio de Janeiro’s beaches were closed to the public over the weekend after Mayor Eduardo Paes residents in a hurry to stay home in what he described as a “very critical” situation.
Sao Paulo State Governor Joao Doria also earlier this month imposed a two-week “code red” lockdown, shutting down non-essential businesses and restricting other services.
The measures sparked protests across Brazil, as law enforcement authorities broke up large gatherings that violated the restrictions.
Bolsonaro, a COVID-19 skeptic who has avoided public health measures and downplayed the coronavirus threat, has asked Brazil’s Supreme Court to overturn the lockdown orders, local media reported on Friday.
“They are imposing a state of siege, which is unconstitutional. They cannot do this without the approval of Congress. They humiliate the population by saying that they save lives. How can they save lives, they starve people, ”Bolsonaro said.
The far-right president last week appointed Brazil’s fourth Minister of Health since the start of the pandemic, saying the country was entering a “more aggressive” phase in the fight against the virus.
Marcelo Queiroga, cardiologist, has promised to carry out Bolsonaro’s policy.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian government has struggled to administer COVID-19 vaccines, delivering at least one dose to around 5.4% of the population so far.
Brazil in January approved two vaccines for emergency use: AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom and CoronaVac developed in China.
The country said last week it had ordered 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 38 million from Johnson & Johnson, as it negotiated for 13 million doses of the vaccine from Moderna Inc.