President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) admitted today that the federal government received an offer from pharmaceutical Pfizer to acquire vaccines against the coronavirus at cheaper prices compared to proposals made by the same company to other countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom. He did not make it clear, however, when the communication took place.
During participation in the podcast “Cara a Tapa”, on YouTube, presenter Rica Perrone asked if it is true that Pfizer would have offered the immunizer at half price and why the company would have done it. The president confirmed the existence of documents that “prove” the veracity of the offer, “back there”.
I don’t want to go into it any further, but a document has arrived for us, offered at a price well below the treaty back there. I said throw everything to the Comptroller General of the Union.”
According to Bolsonaro, Pfizer offered the vaccine at half price to Brazil due to competition from other pharmaceutical companies that began producing and selling vaccines to fight the disease. “They offered it at half the price because more pharmaceutical companies began to appear, companies that produce [imunizantes] there is competition and the price drops”, he said.
In the interview, the president also said that there are vaccines left in Brazil because “the population does not want to take more vaccines”.
Still, he sought to challenge the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine, citing a supposed Israeli study that would indicate that the effectiveness of this immunizer would only be four weeks.
However, in August of last year, the Israeli government itself stated, through a study published in the Lancet, that the Pfizer immunizer works and that two doses of the vaccine “are highly effective in all age groups in preventing symptomatic infections. and asymptomatic for Sars-CoV-2 and Covid-19-related hospitalizations, severe illness and death”.
“These findings suggest that vaccination can help control the pandemic,” the study said.
Vaccines with cheaper prices
The government of President Jair Bolsonaro refused Pfizer vaccines in 2020, during the first year of the pandemic, which were offered at half the price paid by countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and members of the European Union.
Documents obtained by the Covid CPI indicate that Pfizer emails with offers were ignored by the government.
During the commission, members of the Bolsonaro administration were asked about the delay in purchasing and the refusal of offers. Appointed as a man trusted by former minister Eduardo Pazuello, businessman, rural producer and former deputy Airton Soligo, known as “Airton Cascavel”, told parliamentarians that, “if he could”, he would have carried out negotiations with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer. and Janssen, in 2020, to purchase vaccines.
Pazuello, in turn, said that he would not be the right person to negotiate with companies, as this would have to be done by someone at the “administrative level”.
According to reprinting of Folha de S.Paulo, up to 70 million doses manufactured by the pharmaceutical company could have been delivered from December of that year for US$ 10 each. The purchase would have accelerated the vaccination process in Brazil, which has suffered from delays and criticism from the government, especially from Jair Bolsonaro.
Due to management delays, the first doses of Pfizer arrived in Brazil only in April, eight months after the first offer made by the company.