Brazil cuts number of vaccines expected to be delivered by 30%

An elderly man reacts after receiving the first dose of Sinovac's CoronaVac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for senior citizens, in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

SAO PAULO, April 24 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government cut by nearly 30% the number of COVID-19 vaccines expected to be delivered between January and April, according to a new calendar released by the country's health minister on Saturday.

Last month, former health minister Eduardo Pazuello said Brazil would receive roughly 103 million doses in the first four months of the year. But the latest calendar released by minister Marcelo Queiroga showed only 73 million doses.

The government said the reduction was due to lower-than-expected volume of active ingredients received and also because some vaccines are pending a permit to be used in the country.

Brazil's government had been avoiding releasing new estimates since Queiroga took office a month ago, but this week the country's supreme court determined that it present a detailed schedule.

Brazil has the world's second-highest coronavirus death toll after the United States.

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Reporting by Ricardo Brito, in Brasilia, writing by Carolina Mandl, in Sao Paulo; Editing by Dan Grebler

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