Brazil to get 3 million J&J COVID-19 shots early

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Vials with a sticker reading, “COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only” and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said on Friday that Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) subsidiary Janssen will deliver 3 million COVID-19 vaccine shots this month, ahead of schedule.

“We agreed with Janssen to bring another 3 million doses that will be now be administered in June,” Queiroga said in an interview with the CB Poder program hosted by newspaper Correio Braziliense.

The Health Ministry had struck a deal with Janssen for the acquisition of 38 million doses, with delivery of 16.9 million shots estimated between July and September and 21.1 million between October and December.

Asked about Queiroga’s remarks, the ministry confirmed that some of the first delivery will be brought forward.

Janssen was not available for immediate comment.

The J&J vaccine, a single shot against COVID-19 unlike others used in Brazil, was approved in March by the country’s health regulator Anvisa.

Brazil is already using three vaccines to immunize its population against COVID-19, produced by AstraZeneca (AZN.L), Sinovac Biotech (SVA.O) and Pfizer (PFE.N).

Brazil has so far vaccinated 47.6 million people with a first dose, equivalent to 22.6% of the population, but only 22.7 million with two doses, or 10.8% of the population.

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