The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) announced this Thursday, 2, that it will spend two weeks without delivering doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 to the Ministry of Health. The next shipments will only be delivered from the 13th of September. The delay, according to Fiocruz, occurs because of the delay in the delivery of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (IFA), which is the component used to manufacture the vaccine, which is imported from China.
Two shipments from the IFA arrived in Brazil on the 25th and 30th of August and a new batch should arrive at Fiocruz this Friday, 3. With the delay in the arrival of the raw material to produce the vaccine, the next batches deliveries of the immunizing agent they are only scheduled for two weeks. Fiocruz explained that the vaccine production process until the delivery of the immunizing agent takes about three weeks.
In a statement, Fiocruz informed that: “All doses related to the batch of API received on 8/25 have already been produced and are in the quality control stage. Part of the batch received on 8/30 has also been produced. At this time, there are 6.1 million doses in the quality control stage and the rest in production”
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This will be the first time since the beginning of vaccine production in Brazil that Fiocruz will spend weeks without delivering the immunizing agent to the National Immunization Plan (PNI) against Covid-19. Delivery by the Foundation had been taking place weekly without interruption.
In August, the Foundation delivered the smallest amount of vaccines since production began in March this year. Only 11.4 million doses of AstraZeneca were delivered. Compared to the month of May, the quantity is almost half of what was delivered, the total of 21 million doses. Since the beginning of production, the Foundation has delivered 91.9 million doses to the Ministry of Health.
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At the end of July, Fiocruz informed that it started producing the vaccine with 100% Brazilian API. The Foundation’s forecast is to deliver, by the end of the year, six million doses with the national IFA and, starting in February, 13 million doses per month. The technology transfer was agreed by contract with AstraZeneca/Oxford.
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