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Brazil institute to import Chinese COVID-19 vaccine rejected by Bolsonaro

Brazilian regulator Anvisa on Friday authorized a biomedical center to import 6 million doses of the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine, one day after President Jair Bolsonaro said Brazil would not buy the Chinese vaccine.

By Pedro Fonseca

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Brazilian regulator Anvisa on Friday authorized a biomedical center to import 6 million doses of the Sinovac SVA.O coronavirus vaccine, one day after President Jair Bolsonaro said Brazil would not buy the Chinese vaccine.

Sao Paulo's Butantan Institute plans to initially import Sinovac's vaccine, which is in phase 3 trials conducted with the help of a local university and not yet approved for wider use in Brazil. Butantan would ultimately manufacture the vaccine if proven effective.

Brazil's Sao Paulo governor João Doria said earlier on Friday that Anvisa told him it will not bow to political pressure over the approval of potential coronavirus vaccines.

Earlier this week, Bolsonaro said on social media that Brazil would not buy the coronavirus vaccine from Sinovac, over apparent political concerns after being questioned by his supporters about the Chinese candidate.[nL1N2HC0MW]

Brazil has the second-deadliest outbreak of COVID-19 after the United States, with 156,471 deaths.

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca and Eduardo Simoes Editing by Chris Reese)

((jake.spring@thomsonreuters.com; +55 61 99653-2429; Reuters Messaging: jake.spring.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net / Twitter: https://twitter.com/jakespring))

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