The race to find a viable vaccine against COVID-19 continues, as Reuters reports billionaire Jorge Lemann and his nonprofit, the Lemann Foundation, fund an $ 18 million factory just to produce en masse a COVID-19 vaccine under development. by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
You might remember other billionaires are also making a substantial bet that the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine turns out to be the one that hits the target needed to rid the world of the coronavirus, but in Lemann’s native Brazil, the mission is particularly urgent since the country is in second place behind the United States in terms of the severity of the outbreak there.
According to a statement from the Lemann Foundation, a donation of 100 million reais (or $ 18 million) is made to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (also known as Fiocruz) in order to build the factory which, if all goes well as planned, to be able to manufacture up to 30 million doses of the vaccine per month by the start of next year. The foundation’s press release also cites a few other donors involved in the project:
“Other donors to the initiative to ensure that Brazil can absorb the technology needed to produce the potential vaccine include Brazilian brewer Ambev SA, Itaú Unibanco, the Votorantim Institute and the Behring Family Foundation.”
In addition to the plant, the Federal University of São Paulo is also carrying out a vaccine study which in turn is also funded by the Lemann Foundation. And according to Lemann’s statement, he hopes the plant will continue to be of use to the public even after the current crisis has passed, and that Brazil will soon be “better positioned and prepared to face other challenges of this nature. that could arise. “