Brazil seems to have jumped the gun on the issue of getting vaccines’ supplies from India

Even as India said it is too early to give specific response on supplies of Coronavirus vaccines to other countries, the Brazilian foreign ministry in a statement on Thursday said, “Preparations to bring the two million doses of the vaccine against Covid-19 from India are already underway.”

The Brazilian foreign ministry also said “Azul airlines flight will be anticipated and will leave Viracopos Airport, in Campinas (SP), at 1.00 pm this Thursday for Recife (PE), from where it will depart directly to the Indian city of Mumbai. The vaccines are scheduled to arrive in Brazil next Saturday (16) at Galeão Airport (RJ).”

“As you know vaccination process is just starting in India. It is too early to give specific response on supplies to other countries. As we are still assessing production schedules and delivery and we will take decisions in this regard in due course and it may take some time,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in response to media queries on requests from Brazil, Bangladesh and other countries for supplies of coronavirus vaccines.

But the press release issued by the Brazilian foreign ministry said: “The flight will cover about 15 thousand kilometers to India. The Airbus A330neo is the largest aircraft in the company's fleet and will be equipped with specific containers to ensure temperature control of the doses in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. The doses were produced by the Indian laboratory Serum and purchased by the Ministry of Health.”

“The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be distributed to the Brazilian states within five days after the approval of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). Immunization all over the country will be carried out simultaneously and free of charge,” the Brazil government said.

“The Ministry of Health has the support of Azul airlines and the Brazilian Association of Airline Companies, which includes Gol, Latam and Voepass airlines, for the logistics of free transportation of the Covid-19 vaccine,” it added.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Embassy in New Delhi, has made arrangements with the Indian authorities and the Serum Institute of India, following up on a letter from President Jair Bolsonaro to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dated January 8, and is providing assistance regarding international travel issues and procedures. The Ministry of Defense will contribute to the security of land transportation to the states,” the Brazilian foreign ministry said.

The successful acquisition of doses from the British parent company and the Indian vaccine producer demonstrates the excellent state of Brazil-United Kingdom and Brazil-India relations and the strength of the strategic relationships we have with both countries.

“Brazil has recently maintained frequent contacts with India and the United Kingdom, at a high level, guided by a spirit of solidarity and cooperation in facing the pandemic of COVID-19,” the Brazilian foreign ministry added.