In September, Brazil's wealthiest and most populous state Sao Paulo went into contract with Chinese vaccine developer Sinovac Biotech, with the expectations to receive 46 million doses of CoronaVac. CoronaVac has been in Phase 3 testing in the South American country since July. On Friday, Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said if the COVID-19 vaccine is approved by the National Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA), then mandatory vaccinations would follow, according to the Rio Times.
Doria told reporters Friday, Oct. 16, that: "In Sao Paulo, it will be mandatory, except for those with a medical note and a certificate stating that they cannot [take the vaccine]."
Just weeks ago, he told other reporters that Sao Paulo "will be one of the first places in the world to vaccinate the public." He said his administration has already obtained 6 million CoronaVac doses for potential distribution.
Citing local media, RT News said Sao Paulo could have the CoronaVac vaccine approved as early as December. The trials are expected to be wrapped up this weekend, with results expected sometime early next week.
Doria has spent the last couple of months blasting President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the public health crisis - accusing him of "politicizing" the vaccine.
Bolsonaro recently responded to Doria's comments, saying that the Health Ministry will not make vaccination mandatory. Bolsonaro also cited federal laws that determine it's up to the federal government to decide if vaccinations are mandatory.
Bolsonaro, who routinely downplayed the pandemic, and contracted the virus in July, has been widely criticized by Doria and other critics for incompetence.
On Saturday, virus-related deaths in the South American country rose 461 to 153,675. Brazil now registers more than 5,224,362 virus cases.
Brazil leads all other BRIC countries in deaths per million inhabitants.
The South American COVID-19 hotspot is Brazil.
Virus cases worldwide, via one-week moving averages, are surging once again.
We would suspect, US vaccine makers are not thrilled with China supply COVID-19 vaccines to Brazil.