Could Brazil vaccinate all its adults by September?

(Bloomberg) – A spike in vaccine deliveries should allow Brazil to immunize all adults in the next three months, said Walter Schalka, who is part of a group of executives that is pushing for the increase in vaccines in one of the most affected countries in the world.

The group, known as “United for Vaccines,” estimates that 160 million vaccines will arrive between July and September. This amount should be enough to cover all Brazilians over 18 years of age with one dose.

“Our role is to encourage people to get vaccinated and also to help local governments with the infrastructure and equipment to make this happen,” said Schalka, the CEO of the giant Suzano SA, in an interview.

The group, led by Luiza Trajano, owner of the retailer Magazine Luiza SA, did not try to buy the vaccines themselves, as other companies in the region have promoted. Instead, he dedicated himself to helping obtain vaccines in the most remote regions of Brazil, reaching out to around 5,500 city councils across the country to understand the gaps in existing infrastructure. He then mobilized companies to “adopt” cities that needed air conditioning, freezers to store doses and computers to feed vaccination data into the national system, Schalka said.

In Brazil, a total of 93.8 million doses have been administered against covid-19, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That is enough to cover 32% of the population with a single dose and fully vaccinate 12%. Health experts say that vaccinating roughly 70% to 85% of a country’s population would allow a return to normal.

Faced with the lag in vaccination and increasingly lax social distancing measures, Brazil continues to report more than 2,000 deaths a day. It hit a record 115,228 new cases daily on Wednesday. The country only follows the United States and India in infections and ranks second globally in deaths from respiratory disease.

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“We believe that we will be able to vaccinate Brazilians in 90 days,” Schalka said. “For now, our recommendation is to comply with health and social distancing regulations.”

Original Note: Brazil Can Vaccinate All Adults by September, Suzano CEO Says

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