Brazil’s health ministry said a Memorandum of Intent should be signed next week. The statement added the shots, being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, are expected to be delivered next year.
Brazil has the third highest coronavirus case count at over 6.6 million. It also has the second heaviest death toll of more than 177,000.
President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday tweeted about the free vaccine, saying: “Once certified by @anvisa_oficial (scientific guidelines and legal precepts), @govbr will offer the vaccine to all, free of charge and not mandatory.”
He added the economy ministry had assured that there will be no shortage of resources to administer the jabs to everyone.
The tweets came shortly before Dimas Covas, the president of Sao Paulo’s Butantan Institute biomedical center, said the required data for the China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd CoronaVac vaccine has been or will soon be sent to Anvisa.
He expressed hope the vaccine would get the approval regardless of the political storm between Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria and President Bolsonaro over competing vaccines.
In an interview with GloboNews, he said: “I want to think that no political problem is bigger than people’s lives.”
Doria had earlier said the country’s most populous state plans to start the roll out of the vaccine on January 25. The federal government expects roll outs its plan at least a month later.
Doria has frequently clashed with Bolsonaro over the vaccine. The President, a hostile China critic, has without any basis dismissed the Sinovac vaccine saying it lacks credibility.