Brazilian state governors are pursuing their own vaccine supply plans, with some expressing concern that President Jair Bolsonaro’s government won’t deliver the necessary number of shots.
Governors are under pressure from mayors, some of whose vaccine stocks have already been depleted. Brazil’s two biggest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, are expected to be without shots in a matter of days.
Sao Paulo’s Governor João Doria has pushed hardest to shore up his state’s own vaccine supply. The president repeatedly criticized Doria’s deal to purchase 100 million CoronaVac shots from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac, saying the federal government wouldn’t buy them.
Bolsonaro reversed course in January, facing delay in the delivery of the only vaccine his administration purchased and watching as other nations began immunizing their citizens while Brazil’s 210 million people were on hold.
Doria told The Associated Press in an interview, “If it weren’t for this (CoronaVac) shot, Brazil today would be a country without vaccines.”
He says he’s negotiating for 20 million more doses, and if the federal government doesn’t buy them, he could sell them to other governors: “It is not for a state government to secure vaccines, but here we are.”