Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical division of the Johnson & Johnson group, said in a statement on Saturday (30) that it “will make its vaccine available” against Covid-19 in Brazil “in the quantity and under the conditions that may be agreed with the Ministry of Health”.
- Understand why among 236 vaccines tested in the world, few have a chance to reach Brazil
THE G1 contacted the Ministry to check the status of the negotiations, but did not receive a response until the latest update of this report. Earlier this month, Minister Eduardo Pazuello said he was interested in buying doses of Johnson’s vaccine (see below).
The company says it aims to provide one billion doses of the vaccine worldwide in 2021. But he did not release estimates of how many could come to Brazil. However, he clarified that he works on “a non-profit model during the pandemic, so that (the vaccine) can be offered through the National Plan for Operationalization of the Vaccination against COVID-19”.
The company released, on Friday (29), the preliminary results of phase 3 of its vaccine, which was tested in Brazil. The immunizing agent was 66% effective against moderate and severe cases of the disease. This means a 66% reduction in moderate and severe cases of Covid in the vaccinated group compared to the unvaccinated group during vaccine testing.
For having performed tests in the country, Johnson may file an application for emergency use of the vaccine at the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). The agency that determined that there can only be an emergency release of vaccines to Covid that have been tested on Brazilian volunteers. Until this Saturday morning, no requests had been made, according to Anvisa.
So far, only the Oxford and CoronaVac vaccines have been approved in the country.
Johnson & Johnson Covid Vaccine is up to 85% effective for preventing severe cases and only needs one dose
On January 7, according to the Reuters news agency, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello assured that the federal government would buy doses of Johnson’s vaccine.
Speaking at the Planalto Palace, Pazuello praised the immunizer, which is being developed by Janssen, noting that his technicians say it is the “best deal”. However, he said that “unfortunately” only 3 million doses had been offered to Brazil – from April or May.
“To leave no doubt, we are comparing the Janssen vaccine,” he said.
The vaccine, which uses viral vector technology, it is the only one in an advanced stage of tests with only one dose. It also has the advantage of can be stored for at least 3 months at temperatures from 2ºC to 8ºC – which is compatible with the vaccination cold chain used in Brazil. At temperatures of -20ºC, it is stable for two years.
Pazuello also said that the federal government is negotiating with the laboratory Modern, which developed another vaccine against Covid. The minister stated, however, that each dose of the immunizer costs US $ 37 (about R $ 202).
In addition, unlike Johnson’s vaccine, Moderna’s needs to be applied in two doses and stored only at -20ºC. The first vaccines are expected to be delivered in October, according to the minister.
(In comparison, the Oxford vaccine imported from the Serum Institute in India, cost US $ 5.25 per ready dose, about R $ 29. The immunizer is also applied in two doses).
“That’s it, folks, or you manufacture in Brazil or you don’t have a vaccine,” stated Pazuello. Oxford and Sinovac vaccines are being produced in the country, after technology transfer.
Pazuello also complained about Pfizer’s demands for sale to Brazil. He mentioned four conditions presented, including the exemption of liability for possible side effects from the vaccine, and also mentioned the low amount of doses that could be offered.
“This obviously prevents us from being able to hire Pfizer,” he said. “We want Pfizer to give us the treatment compatible with our country, to ease these clauses. We cannot sign in this way”, he reinforced.
On the same day, however, Pfizer released a note saying it offered 70 million doses of vaccine to the Brazilian government for delivery starting in December.
The company also said it could not comment on ongoing negotiations with the Brazilian government, but said the terms of the agreement offered were the same as those accepted by other countries that have already received and are applying the vaccine.
About two weeks later, however, the Ministry of Health repeated the complaints, saying that the doses offered by the company to Brazil would cause “frustration”.
On the 7th, the minister also said that he is in negotiations with the pharmaceutical company União Química so that the Russian vaccine Sputnik V can be manufactured in Brazil and purchased by the government. He did not give details about the quantities being discussed.
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