BRASILIA – The Brazilian government announced on Saturday an agreement with the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca to produce a promising vaccine against COVID-19 that is in the testing phase.
Brazil's Ministry of Health indicated in a press conference that the country will pay $ 127 million and will receive material to produce 30.4 million doses in two batches in December and January, which will allow it to quickly start the inoculation process in the event that the vaccine is certified as safe and effective.
The total agreement is for 100 million vaccines for a country of approximately 210 million inhabitants. It will be produced by local vaccine maker Fiocruz.
British researchers began testing the experimental vaccine in May with the goal of immunizing more than 10,000 people, including older adults and children. The vaccine is one of about a dozen that are in the initial stages of human testing.
Brazil, where coronavirus infections continue to rise, records more than one million confirmed cases and more than 55,900 deaths.  In most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that disappear in two to three weeks. In some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health conditions, it can lead to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, and even death.