The Ministry of Health reaffirmed this Saturday (11) that there are no delays in the delivery of vaccines against covid-19 for the application of a second dose. In recent days, the federal government and the State of São Paulo diverge on the transfer of immunization agents. While the folder says it does not owe doses to any Brazilian state, Governor João Doria (PSDB) says that the ministry owes 1 million doses and that, if not, it will appeal to the Supreme Court (STF).
“The Ministry of Health informs that no second dose of Covid-19 vaccines should be given to any Brazilian state,” said the folder.
More than 95% of the Basic Health Units (UBSs) in the capital of São Paulo are without AstraZeneca vaccines for the second dose and the shortage already affects the entire state. According to the state government, since the weekend about 1 million people have been without the complete vaccination schedule.
Commenting on the situation in São Paulo, the governor stated that this is a problem for the country. Some states, such as Mato Grosso do Sul, are also out of stocks of AstraZeneca in several municipalities. In turn, the Ministry of Health argues that the lack of doses to complete the population’s vaccination schedule is due to changes made by states and municipalities in the National Plan for the Operationalization of Vaccination against Covid-19, the PNO.
“The changes made by states and municipalities in the National Plan for the Operationalization of Vaccination against Covid-19 (PNO), such as non-compliance with what was agreed in a tripartite meeting (Union, states and municipalities), result in the lack of doses to complete the scheme vaccine in the Brazilian population. To avoid this scenario, the Ministry warns, once again, for states, municipalities and the Federal District to follow the PNO”, argues the folder in the note.
In light of this scenario, the government of São Paulo announced that from next week onwards, anyone with a delayed second dose of AstraZeneca will be able to get vaccinated with Pfizer. To make the plan viable, around 400,000 extra doses of Pfizer will be delivered to municipalities over the weekend. 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.