A White House official announced Wednesday that the United States will send 3 million doses the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Brazil on Thursday. Brazil has the second-highest death rate from coronavirus.
Officials said that the shipment, which is part of Washington’s promise to donate 80 million vaccines, will leave Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Thursday evening. It will fly with Azul Airlines and travel to Campinas in southeastern Brazil, about 100km (62 miles) away from Sao Paulo.
Brazil is still fighting the virus which has claimed more than half a million deaths. This has exacerbated deep political divisions ahead of next years presidential election and sparked unrest throughout the country. (Graphic of global cases and deaths
According to the White House, scientific teams from both countries were able to work together with regulatory and legal authorities in order for prompt delivery.
Because it doesn’t require a second dose, the one-shot J&J vaccination is particularly effective in maintaining effective vaccination rates in remote locations.
According to the official, the vaccines were cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and would be sourced from the immediate supply available in the United States.
The J&J vaccine had been approved by Brazil, which allowed for the fastest route to obtaining large quantities of vaccines in Brazil immediately.
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The FDA halted production of J&J vaccines at Emergent BioSolutions Inc.’s Baltimore plant in April after a production error that resulted in millions of doses being destroyed.
Officials from the White House stressed that Brazil was safe and assured them of their safety.
“We are not sharing these doses to obtain favors or extract concessions. There are no strings attached to vaccines. The official stated that they are doing it with the sole purpose of saving lives.