Alleging logistical issues, the Pfizer has rescheduled for Saturday (4) the delivery of more 1.521 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Brazil which was scheduled for this Friday (3). The aircraft is expected to land at 1:25 pm at Viracopos International Airport, in Campinas (SP).
It is the second day in a row that the pharmaceutical company needs to change the schedule for delivering doses to the Brazilian government. On Thursday (2), due to aircraft maintenance, the load with 1,140,750 immunization agents was rescheduled and arrived at the Campinas terminal this Friday (3) in the morning.
The shipments are part of the company’s new delivery schedule, which provides for 10 million doses until Sunday (5). On Thursday, after the change in schedule, the pharmacist delivered only one of the planned batches, with 1,521,000 immunizing agents.
The Ministry of Health has already received, in 62 batches, 59.6 million out of 100 million doses of the first contract with Pfizer, signed on March 19, 2021 – the company is expected to complete delivery by the end of September.
There is a second contract between Pfizer and the federal government, signed on May 14, which provides for the delivery of another 100 million doses between October and December. The company says that will meet the full delivery schedule by the end of 2021.
The 57th batch of Pfizer vaccines against Covid-19 represents a total of 53 million doses already delivered to Brazil — Photo: UPS /ALF TV VCP
The Ministry of Health announced on August 25 that the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will be offered in Brazil. The booster dose is indicated for the elderly who completed the vaccination schedule for more than six months. In the case of immunosuppressed, they must wait 28 days after the second dose.
On Wednesday, the state government released the vaccination schedule for the booster dose. All seniors over 60 years old and immunosuppressed over 18 years old should receive the additional dose, an estimated audience of 7.2 million people. See the dates.
Immunization should preferably be done with a dose from Pfizer, or alternatively with a viral vector vaccine from Janssen or AstraZeneca.
More than 1 million Pfizer vaccines against Covid-19 land in Viracopos — 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.
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.
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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
- 09/04: 1,521,000 doses
- 05/09: 2,280,520 doses (2 flights)
Delivery by the Covax Facility consortium
In late May, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorized new conservation and storage conditions for the Pfizer/Biontech 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