RIO DE JANEIRO, July 29. /TASS/. Russia and its Brazilian partners are negotiating the possibility of launching the novel coronavirus vaccine production in the South American republic, Brazil’s Valor Economico newspaper reported, citing chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev.
"A significant part of Brazil’s population might be vaccinated as early as this year, if we manage to strike a deal with Brazilian manufacturers," the paper quoted Dmitriev as saying.
"We are negotiating with both privately-and state-owned labs in Brazil," he said, without mentioning any company by name.
Dmitriev went on to say that the Russian side was interested "in holding clinical trials and producing anti-coronavirus medicines" jointly with Brazilian partners.
If talks with Brazil do not succeed, Russia will study the possibility of cooperating with other countries in the region, Valor Economico wrote.
Brazilian watchdog Anvisa (National Sanitary Surveillance Agency) authorized the trials of three novel coronavirus vaccines on the country’s territory: the UK-made ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a vaccine by China’s Sinovac Biotech and a vaccine by Pfizer.
"We believe that the production [of Russian vaccine] in Brazil is possible. After that, Brazil can choose what type of vaccine it will use. Our experience shows that having only one type of vaccine is risky, and it’s better to have two or three of them," Dmitriev said.
Russia’s ambassador in Brazil, Sergei Akopov, told TASS on Sunday that the government of the southern Brazilian state of Parana was interested in the Russian vaccine. According to the diplomat, the Brazilian side was seeking only to purchase it, but also to jointly develop, test and produce it on the state’s territory, with an aim for further distribution it in Brazil.
Brazil, where the first coronavirus case was confirmed on February 26, is currently ranked second after the United States in terms of the highest number of reported COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
According to the latest update by the country’s health ministry, at total of 2,483,191 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have so far been registered in Brazil, 88,539 of them fatal.