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$151.54 10.8  7.7%

Last Trade - 16/04/21

Large Cap
Market Cap £26.46bn
Enterprise Value £25.50bn
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Position in Universe 348th / 6850

UPDATE 1-Brazil presses for Pfizer, AstraZeneca shots to bolster slow vaccine rollout

Mon 8th March, 2021 6:46pm
(Adds details of negotiations, early studies of variant)
    By Eduardo Simões and Rodrigo Viga Gaier
    SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO, March 8 (Reuters) - Brazil's
government on Monday pressed Pfizer Inc for earlier delivery of
COVID-19 vaccines and sought to buy more AstraZeneca shots from
other countries, as a deadly second wave of cases adds urgency
to a lethargic vaccine rollout.
    President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the gravity of
the novel coronavirus and questioned the "rush" for vaccines,
took part personally in a video call with executives at Pfizer
 PFE.N , reaching a spoken agreement to buy their vaccine.
    The government is also seeking out more doses of the
AstraZeneca  AZN.L  vaccine from other countries, a state
governor told journalists, after Brazil's health minister said
that India had halted a shipment of 8 million doses.
    The AstraZeneca shot, along with a vaccine made by China's
Sinovac Biotech Ltd  SVA.O , have been Brazil's strongest bet
against a surging outbreak, with the homegrown P1 variant of the
coronavirus apparently boosting transmission and reinfection.
    Record COVID 19 deaths have been reported in Brazil over the
past week and its hospital system is on the bring of collapse,
prompting warnings from the World Health Organization about
possible regional spillover and causing renewed lockdown
measures in much of the country.*:nL2N2L31X1
    Preliminary studies suggest the AstraZeneca vaccine will
protect against the P1 variant, Mauricio Zuma, the head of
production at Brazil's Fiocruz biomedical institute, said on
Monday, confirming a Reuters report on Friday.*:nL2N2L314J
    A Brazilian study also indicates that the Sinovac shot is
effective against the P1 variant, a source familiar with the
study told Reuters on Monday.*:nL1N2L61K5
    If final results bear out those findings, it will be a
crucial break for Brazil, which has ordered more than 200
million doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac shots, while
dragging its feet on others.
    Less than 4% of Brazil's 210 million residents have been
inoculated against COVID-19 due to a string of missteps by the
Health Ministry, which Bolsonaro has stocked with military men
with little public health experience.*:nL1N2JW1R3
    As early as August, the ministry passed up a chance to order
70 million doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech 
 22UAy.DE , with delivery starting in December, Pfizer said in a
January statement. 
    Although Brazil has still not signed a contract with Pfizer,
Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said that after Bolsonaro's call
the company had agreed to start delivering 14 million doses by
June, up from 9 million in its prior offer.
    Following those early deliveries, Pfizer agreed to ship at
least 10 million more doses per month, a health ministry
official added, without saying the total size of the order.    
     Last week the government said it intended to buy 100
million doses from Pfizer and 38 million from Janssen, the
pharmaceutical unit of Johnson & Johnson  JNJ.N .*:nL2N2L123Z
    Guedes said Bolsonaro was also scheduled to speak with the
head of Janssen.
    "Mass vaccination is the government's number one priority,"
Guedes said. "We are going to vaccinate and keep the economy

 (Reporting by Eduardo Simoes in Sao Paulo and Rodrigo Viga
Gaier in Rio de Janeiro
Additional reporting by Ricardo Brito in Brasilia
Writing by Jamie McGeever and Brad Haynes
Editing by Christian Plumb and Steve Orlofsky)
 ((; +55 (0)11 97189 3169;
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