In an effort to supercharge distribution of its vaccine hopeful, British drugmaker AstraZeneca has spanned the globe to ink a slew of national supply deals. Now, after striking a more limited pact in June, AstraZeneca and Brazil are ramping up their partnership to make even more doses of the shot.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ordered $360 million set aside last week for a supply and licensing deal with AstraZeneca for at least 100 million doses of the University of Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine.
Those funds will cover the initial 100 million-dose order, AstraZeneca said, as well as Brazil's licensing rights to produce the shot at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, also known as Fiocruz, if the vaccine is found effective in clinical trials.
An AstraZeneca spokesman said the new agreement "builds on" the drugmaker's earlier deal with Brazil in June to supply around 30 million unfinished doses of the vaccine at a price tag of $127 million.