Brazil strikes deal to produce Oxford test vaccine (Reports).

Brazil, the nation with the second-highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths, reached a deal with the U.K. to produce the Covid-19 vaccine that’s been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc.

Brazil will spend $287 million to buy vaccine doses and ingredients for as many as 100 million shots that it will be able to produce locally with the technology transfer, Health Ministry Executive Secretary Elcio Franco said at a press conference in Brasilia today.

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The first order, regardless of the final results of the vaccine clinical trials, will cost Brazil $127 million, Franco said. That will include 30.4 million doses to be delivered in December and January, as well as the technology transfer.

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“The research risk we’re taking is necessary given the urgency of an effective solution to maintain public health and resume economic growth,” he added.

Once the vaccine proves its efficacy, 70 million additional doses will be locally produced at Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz, known as Fiocruz, and its Bio-Manguinhos immunology institute at the cost of $160 million.

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Brazil reported 1,109 new deaths on Saturday, bringing the total fatality count to 57,070, while the number of cases increased by 38,693 to 1.31 million, making it the most infected country after the U.S.

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