The government of São Paulo announced last Friday, 10th, that, starting next week, whoever has the second dose of AstraZeneca delayed may be vaccinated with the to do Against the Covid-19. The measure was taken to guarantee the population’s vaccination schedule amid the shortage of doses of AstraZeneca and what the state government calls the “Ministry of Health blackout”.
A little earlier, the governor João Doria (PSDB) even said that, if the federal government does not receive 1 million doses of AstraZeneca by next Tuesday, 14, the state intends to resort to Federal Court of Justice (STF). According to him, the amount should have already been delivered.
While new doses do not arrive, the government of São Paulo said, in a statement, that anyone who has a dose of AstraZeneca that expires between 1 and 15 September can be vaccinated with the second dose of Pfizer.
To make the plan viable, around 400,000 extra doses of Pfizer will be delivered to municipalities over the weekend. They arrived in the state in recent days and will be relocated for the application of this second dose. According to the folder, municipalities will also be able to apply Pfizer vaccines that they have in stock.
The decision is an emergency and, according to the government, aims to “alleviate the inconvenience caused by not sending the doses”. The state government said that since the weekend about 1 million people have been left without the full vaccination schedule. The expectation of the São Paulo State Department of Health is that in the coming days the situation will be regularized.
The interchangeability of vaccines was endorsed by the Scientific Committee of the State government and by the State Program for Immunization (PEI), which based the decision on studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) and on guidelines from the Ministry of Health itself.
In technical note 6/2021, the ministry determined that heterologous vaccines can be administered when there is unavailability of the immunizing agent applied as the first dose.
Regarding the lack of doses of AstraZeneca, the ministry stated that São Paulo used vaccines intended for dose two as the first dose. “Contrary to what was announced by the government of São Paulo, the Ministry of Health does not owe a second dose of AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine to the State of São Paulo,” he said in a statement.
Mato Grosso do Sul government intends to take a similar measure
To combat the lack of doses, the government of Mato Grosso do Sul is studying applying from Monday, 13, the Pfizer vaccine to anyone who has a delayed second dose of AstraZeneca. “We are already out of stocks in most of the municipalities, if not in all of them”, he reported to the state the State Secretary of Health of the State, Geraldo Resende.
According to him, the forecast is that 49,500 doses of vaccine would be delivered by the end of this week and 153,000 by the end of September. If new shipments do not arrive until next Monday, Resende said that Mato Grosso do Sul intends to start completing the population’s vaccination schedule with immunizations from Pfizer.
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