‘Unfortunately conversations (with Health Ministry) did not move on because the President at that time said the vaccine would not be incorporated, that this process would not advance,’ Covas said at the Parliamentary Investigation Commission (CPI) in charge of assessing government’s pandemic management.
Such an assertion belies former Health Minister General Eduardo Pazuello´s speech, who claimed that Bolsonaro did not make great efforts to purchase the CoronaVac vaccine doses.
From the very beginning of the development process, CoronaVac was utterly rejected by Bolsonaro, amid his political dispute with Governor of Sao Paulo Joao Doria.
According to Covas, Butantan Institute was working hard with Brazil´s Health Ministry to enable a ‘legal instrument’, a provisional measure that would allow the contract and, therefore, the supply of doses.
On October 21, Jair Bolsonaro said that he ordered to call off a protocol of intent for purchasing as many as 46 million CoronaVac doses.
In Covas’s testimony, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues showed a video in which Pazuello, alongside Bolsonaro, mentioned about president’s statement not to buy CoronaVac doses: ‘It’s that simple: one orders and the other obeys.’
Covas also stated that at the end of December Butantan Institute had produced 5.5 million CoronaVac doses and other four million in process.