Business & Finance
Pfizer negotiating with Brazil to supply its COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021
13 November 2020 -

The Brazilian head of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc, Carlos Murillo, has said that the company is in talks with Brazil's government to supply its potential COVID-19 vaccine in the first quarter of 2021, Reuters news agency reported on Friday.

Murillo was quoted as saying during an online event: "We are working strongly with the Brazilian government to try to fast-track the availability (of the vaccine) in Brazil as fast as possible."

Currently, in Brazil, about 3,100 people are participating in a late-stage clinical trial of the experimental vaccine Pfizer is developing with German partner BioNTech.

Pfizer has said initial data from its late-stage trials showed the vaccine to be more that 90% effective, putting it in the lead among major pharmaceutical companies racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

However, Pfizer's vaccine needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, a potential barrier in developing countries, where finding the necessary storage chain could be an obstacle.

Murillo said Pfizer has developed a way to keep the vaccine in good condition using only dry ice.

"It's not a simple issue and it does not resolve the logistics, but it changes the paradigm that a country would need an ultrafreezer in each vaccination centre, that's not the case," Murillo added.

This vaccine will be sold with three different price tags, one for affluent countries, one for middle income countries like Brazil and another for low income nations, he said.

According to Reuters, so far, Brazil's federal government's main bet for a potential COVID-19 vaccine is with AstraZeneca Plc, with which it has already signed a supply contract.