SAO PAULO, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Joao Doria, governor of Brazil's biggest state San Paulo, on Friday urged his country to resolve its diplomatic issues with China, so as to clear the way for the delivery of supplies needed for CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Life Sciences.
"I call on the ministry of foreign affairs to resolve diplomatic issues with China, and enable the release of supplies to continue providing the vaccine that is saving the most lives in Brazil," said the governor.
Doria made the remarks after 1.1 million doses of CoronaVac, packaged by the Sao Paulo-based Butantan Institute, were delivered to the National Immunization Program against COVID-19.
Since launching its vaccination drive on Jan. 17, Brazil has relied on CoronaVac to fight the pandemic, as some 80 percent of vaccinated Brazilians had been inoculated with the Chinese vaccine.
According to Doria, the first contract for 46 million doses has been completed and production for another 54 million CoronaVac vaccines, written in the second contract, is already underway.
In a statement, Sao Paulo's government said the Butantan Institute has been waiting for "authorization from the Chinese government for the release of more of the raw material necessary for the production of the vaccine."
On Wednesday, Doria described as "disastrous" recent remarks made by Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes regarding China.
China "is the country that is helping to save the most Brazilian lives, since both CoronaVac and AstraZeneca depend on supplies produced in China," Doria said in a message posted on social media.
The federal government, Doria said, owes China an "apology" after Bolsonaro said on May 5 that the virus may have been created "in a laboratory" as part of "chemical warfare" without providing evidence.
Earlier on April 27, Guedes said that China "invented" the virus and that vaccines developed by the Asian country were "less efficient." Enditem