Brazil’s government has received 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from India. Brazil’s Health Ministry announced that the vaccine landed in São Paulo on January 22 before being flown to Rio de Janeiro, where Brazil’s state-run Fiocruz Institute is based. The Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine developed in the UK, with the Indian local name Covishield, is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. It says it is producing more than 50 million doses a month.
After receiving the vaccine from India, Brazil President Jair M Bolsonaro thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for vaccine export saying he feels honoured to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle by joining efforts.
The Brazillian President tweeted in Portuguese, “Namaskar, Primeiro Ministro @narendramodi- O Brasil sente-se honrado em ter um grande parceiro para superar um obstáculo global. Obrigado por nos auxiliar com as exportações de vacinas da Índia para o Brasil.- Dhanyavaad! धनयवाद,” which can be roughly translated to English, “Namaskar, Prime Minister@narendramodi- Brazil is honored to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle. Thank you for helping us with vaccine exports from India to Brazil.- Dhanyavaad! धनयवाद”.
In his tweet, Bolsonaro shared an illustration that shows Lord Hanuman carrying a mountain with vaccines from India to Brazil. In Ramayana, there is a tale in which Hanuman carries the entire mountain to deliver Sanjeevani Booti, a magical life-saving herb, to save wounded Lakshman, Lord Ram’s brother.
Replying to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “The honour is ours, President@jairbolsonaro to be a trusted partner of Brazil in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic together. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation on healthcare.”
External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also took to Twitter to say, “Made in India vaccines arrive in Brazil.”
Also, calling the day historic, India’s Ambassador to Brazil said, “Today is a historic day in India-Brazil relations. Brazil is the first country to get such a consignment. PM Modi said we’ll make vaccine available to all countries & we’ll continue to work towards that & I wish you good luck in your efforts.”
Earlier, Brazilian Ambassador André Aranha Correa do Lago to India has thanked the SII for the vaccines and the “professionalism demonstrated” during the transportation. “Thank you Serum Institute of India for the amazing professionalism demonstrated while shipping this batch of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines to Brazil and immense appreciation for and thanks to the Government of India for their support,” said André Aranha Correa do Lago.
According to Brazilian public health experts, the 2 million doses from India only scratch the surface of the shortfall and far more doses will be needed to cover priority groups in the nation of 210 million people.