Rio de Janeiro, one of the cities hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, will temporarily suspend the vaccination campaign due to a lack of vaccines from Wednesday, announced Mayor Eduardo Paes.
“I received the message that no new cans have arrived. We have to stop our campaign. This Monday we will vaccinate people up to 84 years of age and on Tuesday over 83 years, ”Paes said in a message posted on social networks.
“We have already vaccinated 244,852 people and are ready [para continuar ]but we need the vaccine to arrive. A new batch shouldn’t come in from the Butantane Institute until next week, ”he added.
Rio de Janeiro is the first city in Brazil to officially confirm the vaccination suspension due to the lack of vaccines, a situation some regional and local governments have been warning of for days.
The suspension of the vaccination campaign comes at a time when Brazil is exposed to a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic for the seventh time in a row, with an average of more than 1,050 deaths per day.
Brazil launched the Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 18 with ten million vaccines from the pharmaceutical company Sinovac imported from China and another two million doses from the AstraZeneca laboratory imported from India.
With the doses available, Brazil (211 million inhabitants) has vaccinated just over five million people so far, taking into account that it is two doses per person, which is 2% of the population.
All available doses have been distributed and the municipalities are now awaiting further deliveries from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the Butantan Institute, who are responsible for the final stages of manufacturing vaccines imported from Sinovac and AstraZeneca laboratories.
The distribution of these drugs is not planned until the end of February, so not only Rio de Janeiro, but a large part of the country’s communities will have to suspend their vaccination campaigns until more vaccines arrive.
Although the Ministry of Health guarantees that it has already secured the purchase of 350 million vaccines and will have vaccinated the entire Brazilian population by the end of 2021, the laboratories’ delay in delivering the vaccines threatens to achieve this goal.
Brazil is responsible for 239,245 deaths and more than 9.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19.