Brazil's biomedical institute Fiocruz is in discussions with AstraZeneca over alternative COVID-19 vaccine sources in case of possible issues surrounding local production of the candidate, as reported in London South East.
Maurício Zuma, who heads the Fiocruz unit that produces vaccines, said it was still aiming to produce 110 million doses in the second half of the year, but that manufacturing challenges and the regulatory process in Brazil could hinder those plans.
As a result, he said it was looking at alternatives such as importing more active ingredients or ready doses.
"To produce the vaccine here is a whole process," he said, adding "we think we can have vaccines ready by the end of the third quarter, but whether we manage to deliver them will depend on regulatory questions."
Anvisa, Brazil's health regulator, has come under increasing scrutiny for being slow and for making onerous demands on vaccine producers.
"We know that we are going to have mishaps in a process that would usually take years," Zuma added.
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