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LATIN AMERICA | 26-08-2021 14:42

Pfizer-BioNTech ink vaccine deal with Brazil manufacturer

Production will start next year and at full capacity will produce 100 million finished doses.

Covid-19 vaccine makers Pfizer and BioNTech have joined forces with Brazilian pharmaceutical company Eurofarma to distribute doses in Latin America, the companies announced Thursday.

Production will start next year and at full capacity will produce 100 million finished doses, the statement said.

"Everyone – regardless of financial condition, race, religion or geography – deserves access to lifesaving Covid-19 vaccines," Pfizer chief Albert Bourla said in the statement. 

"Our new collaboration with Eurofarma expands our global supply chain network to another region -- helping us continue to provide fair and equitable access to our COVID-19 vaccine."

Brazil is a global pandemic hotspot, hitting a new daily record of more than 1,300 deaths on Monday with a total death toll of nearly 575,000 – second only to the United States. 

As the fast-spreading Delta variant presents new challenges, protests have erupted in the country over the government's handling of the crisis and slow vaccine rollout.

Eurofarma will receive drug products and finish the vaccine doses for distribution.

Eurofarma President Maurizio Billi called the deal a "milestone" for the nearly 50-year-old company.

"At such a difficult time as this one, being able to share this news fills us with pride and hope," he said.

According to Pfizer and BioNTech, the companies have shipped more than 1.3 billion vaccine doses to more than 120 countries and territories in every region of the world, and aim to provide a billion doses annually to low- and middle-income countries in 2021 and 2022.

The companies last month announced a similar deal with Biovac in South Africa, with the goal to deliver up to 100 million doses a year to the 55 countries of the African Union.

– TIMES/AFP

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