The application of the third dose of the vaccine against covid-19 began this Monday (6) in São Paulo. According to the State Health Department, 12,607 additional doses were applied. Among those vaccinated on this first day, 99.2% took CoronaVac, 0.3% Astrazeneca and 0.1% Pfizer.
The first recipients were seniors over 90 years of age who took the second dose of the immunizing agent for at least six months, that is, until March 6th. The immunization of this group, according to the calendar released by Governor João Doria (PSDB-SP), runs until the 12th of this month.
Continuing with the reinforcement of vaccination, between 13 and 19 September, another 231.7 thousand elderly people aged 85 to 89 will be reached. In total, 7.2 million people must receive the third dose of the immunizing agent in the state.
Ministry of Health is against CoronaVac as reinforcement
Before the government of São Paulo started strengthening the immunization, the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, said that the folder will not recommend the use of Coronavac for the application of the third dose in the immunization against covid-19. According to him, Pfizer’s vaccine will be prioritized because it already has definitive registration with Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency).
Although the Ministry of Health has recommended the use of Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines to boost protection against covid-19, the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have included Coronavac as an option for the extra dose. The application of a third dose of the Butantan vaccine is safe and does not cause serious reactions, but experts criticize the decision to use it as a booster because it is less effective, especially among the elderly.
In view of the controversy, Anvisa informed that the Butantan Institute did not present data or studies on the 3rd booster dose against covid-19. “For Anvisa to decide on the third dose/booster using the Coronavac vaccine, there is a need to present studies and data that support this indication and dosage. These data were not presented by the Butantan Institute”, says the note published on its website.
Former president of Anvisa is against the use of Coronavac
The option of the government of the state of São Paulo to keep CoronaVac as an option for the booster dose that is starting to be applied today in the elderly was criticized by the sanitarist and former president of Anvisa Gonzalo Vecina Neto.
In an interview with UOL News, Vecina stated that CoronaVac is a good immunizer, but that it has failed to prove its effectiveness for people over 60 years old.