RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – Rio de Janeiro will suspend its Covid-19 vaccination campaign until next week because the Brazilian city has run out of doses, Mayor Eduardo Paes said on Monday (Feb 15).
“I have been informed that the new doses did not arrive. We will have to interrupt our campaign tomorrow (Tuesday),” Paes wrote on Twitter.
He said the campaign would resume next week with a new delivery of Chinese-developed vaccine CoronaVac.
One month into hard-hit Brazil’s immunisation drive, several critical areas have run into vaccine shortages, fuelling frustration with President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.
Rio, Brazil’s second-biggest city, had warned last week it only had enough vaccine to last until Saturday.
The iconic beach city of 6.7 million people has cancelled its famed carnival celebrations, originally scheduled for this week, in a bid to contain infections.
The city has recorded nearly 18,000 deaths from Covid-19, making it among the hardest hit in Brazil.
Nearly 240,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Brazil, the second-highest death toll worldwide, after the United States.
Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday his government would seek emergency use authorisation for an Israeli-developed nasal spray against Covid-19 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as a “miracle” treatment.
“EXO-CD24 is a nasal spray developed by the Ichilov Medical Center in Israel, with nearly 100-percent effectiveness – 29 out of 30 – against Covid in serious cases,” Bolsonaro tweeted, two days after speaking on the phone with Netanyahu, who calls the Brazilian far-right leader a “good friend”.
“A request to analyse this medication for emergency use will be sent shortly to (federal health regulator) Anvisa,” Bolsonaro wrote.