The American pharmaceutical Pfizer announced, this Monday morning (23), the delivery of more 5.3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine by Sunday (29).
In total, will be five shipments with 1 million immunizations each. The first lands at Tuesday night (24) at Viracopos International Airport, in Campinas (SP).
Before starting the new schedule, Pfizer delivered the last shipment left to meet the delivery target of 17 million doses by last Sunday (22). With the new shipments in four days this week, Brazil will have received 53 million immunizations from the pharmaceutical.
So far, the company has sent 52 lots to Brazil. In total, the Ministry of Health has already received 47.9 million out of 200 million immunizers of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine contracted by the federal government. The pharmacist says it will meet the schedule of total delivery by the end of 2021.
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According to Pfizer, the doses sent to Brazil are produced in two factories in the United States, Kalamazoo and McPherson, in addition to a factory in Europe, Purrs in Belgium.
The pharmaceutical company forecasts the delivery of 52.4 million doses between the end of August and September – which are part of the first agreement with the federal government, signed on March 19 and which includes the availability of 100 million vaccines by the end of the third quarter of 2021.
The second contract, signed on May 14, provides for the delivery of another 100 million doses between October and December.
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A new shipment of 1 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine arrived at Viracopos Airport, in Campinas (SP), this Tuesday night (17) — Photo: UPS/ALF TV VCP
Pfizer has used Viracopos Airport for all deliveries to Brazil so far. The first shipment had 1 million doses and was received by the country on April 29, in a ceremony that was attended by the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga.
The logistics of delivering doses to the federal government has the support of the Federal Police and the Federal Highway Police. Teams accompany the arrival in Viracopos and escort the road transport of doses to the Ministry of Health distribution center in Guarulhos (SP).
“The vaccines are shipped by plane to Miami International Airport, in the United States, and then continue on to Brazil. The immunizations are unloaded from the plane between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the quantity, and sent to the distribution center of the Ministry of Health, in Guarulhos”, informs Pfizer, in a note.
Shipments delivered by agreement with the Ministry of Health
- 08/24: 1,076,400 doses
- 8/25: 1,076,400 doses
- 26/08: 1,076,400 doses
- 29/08: 2,148,120 doses (2 flights)
Delivery by the Covax Facility consortium
At the end of May, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorized new conditions of conservation and storage for the Pfizer vaccine, which can now be kept in temperature controlled between 2°C and 8°C for up to 31 days. The previous orientation was of five days.
Prior to the release of the vials for vaccination, Pfizer doses had to be stored in boxes at temperatures between -25°C and -15°C for a maximum of 14 days. Such conditions did not allow the vaccine to be sent to cities farther than 2:30 am from the state capital.
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The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was the target of denial and controversy within the federal government. Also last year, three formal offers for the sale of 70 million doses were made by the company and were not answered by the Ministry of Health.
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Also in December, the Secretary of Health Surveillance at the Ministry of Health, Arnaldo Medeiros, ruled out the purchase of the vaccine because of the requirement to store it at low temperatures.
The vaccine was the first to obtain definitive sanitary registration by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), in February this year.
The immunizing agent can be applied to people from 12 years of age, in two doses, with an interval of 21 days between them. The vaccine is the only one that can be applied to children under 18 in Brazil.
Initially, authorization from Anvisa allowed for use from 16 years of age onwards. But the agency authorized the change in the vaccine package insert in the country. However, there are still no prospects for vaccination of this age group in Brazil.
The adolescent age extension was approved after Pfizer presented studies that indicated the vaccine’s safety and efficacy for this group. The studies were developed outside Brazil and evaluated by the agency.
Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine — Photo: Thiago Philip / TV Globo