‘It can’t be the vaccine’s Tower of Babel’

The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, called again today that states and municipalities follow federal guidelines on the application of vaccines against covid-19 and criticized those who adopt different plans.

“What happens is that some municipalities, especially the largest in the federation, keep creating different schemes and then say that the Ministry of Health does not deliver doses, it delays the doses. The Ministry of Health only takes the burden all the time,” he said he to the Covid-19 Temporary Committee in the Senate. “We have to speak the same language, it can’t be the vaccine’s Tower of Babel.”

Queiroga said that if each city makes its own plan, the Ministry cannot guarantee the delivery of vaccines. Last week, the ministry issued a statement saying the same, adding that changes to the federal plan’s recommendations could influence the safety of vaccines and cause shortages.

The PNI provides for the application of the third dose from the 15th, for seniors aged 70 years and over, using Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines.

The Ministry’s statement was issued shortly after the governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB) announced that the state would not follow the PNI. Without directly citing President Jair Bolsonaro (no party), Doria justified that, unlike the federal government, state management prioritizes science.

São Paulo announced a calendar for the third dose that covers people over 60 years of age. The state began applying the backup last Monday, using mostly CoronaVac.

The city of Rio de Janeiro is also already applying the additional dose to elderly people residing in long-term institutions since the 1st.

Expired stock is a ‘problem’

The minister also spoke about vaccines, medicines and other items, valued at R$ 243 million, which have expired. The fact was revealed in a Folha report. He acknowledged that it was a ‘problem’ but denied that there was negligence.

“In relation to expired inputs, this is really a problem. These inputs, it’s not that the ministry lets them win through negligence. It’s because you buy in quantity, there are inputs there that were acquired by governments, two governments prior to President Bolsonaro’s government and have not been distributed,” he told the commission.