Vaccination of children in Brazil is in the Covid immunization plan for 2022 – 10/08/2021 – Equilíbrio e Saúde

The Ministry of Health plans to vaccinate children against Covid in 2022 if Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) approves the immunization. For this audience, the forecast is 70 million doses.

The statement was given by the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, at a press conference this Friday (8).

In addition to the two doses that would be applied per child, the plan is to distribute only a booster dose to the public aged 12 to 59 years, and one dose per semester for the elderly and immunosuppressed population.

There are still no requests from Anvisa to release the application of doses in children. Pfizer has asked the FDA, the US regulatory agency, to authorize emergency use of its Covid-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11.

Vaccination will be carried out by age group, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest.

Such as sheet had already advanced, the Ministry of Health prioritizes the purchase of doses of vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca for the immunization campaign against Covid-19 in 2022.

The folder plans to use around 340 million doses for next year. For this, it would use 134.9 million vaccines that would be left over from 2021.

The idea is to guarantee another 100 million doses of Pfizer, which can be extended to another 50 million doses.

As for AstraZeneca, the plan is 120 million, with the possibility of increasing it to another 60 million doses.

Rodrigo Cruz, executive secretary of the Ministry of Health, said that the estimated investment is R$ 11 billion.

“We are discussing with the Ministry of Economy the possibility of opening an extraordinary credit to sign the contract now and we will calibrate it. But the message that the Ministry of Economy sends is that there will be no lack of budget for these expenses”.

Such as sheet has shown, there are only BRL 3.9 billion reserved in the 2022 budget proposal for the purchase of vaccines from Covid-19, within a cake of BRL 7.1 billion directed to actions against the pandemic.

Queiroga stressed that he may consider using Coronavac next year if the Butantan Institute obtains definitive registration of the vaccine. Currently, the immunizing agent has only emergency registration at Anvisa.

“If another vaccine, such as that of Coronavac, achieves definitive registration, it can be considered. Needs to be evaluated by Conitec. Janssen’s vaccine, too, if it achieves definitive registration, may be incorporated by Conitec,” he said.

The Butantan Institute said, in a note, that Anvisa received data on immunogenicity from Coronavac, documentation necessary to formalize the request for definitive registration of the Butantan vaccine, on November 20th.

“From that date onwards, discussions began on the methodologies used, which caused this delay in the results of the immunogenicity tests. If there had been consensus on the methods proposed by the institute, the process would have already been concluded and the definitive registration of Coronavac would have already been granted”, the institute informed in a note.

Anvisa said two proposals for methodology for immunogenicity were presented by the Butantan Institute. The proposals were not considered adequate by Anvisa, as they did not meet the requirements and scientific parameters for evaluating the immunogenicity of a vaccine.

“The criterion used by Anvisa in evaluating Coronavac was the same used for all other vaccines authorized in Brazil,” said the regulatory agency.

The Health Minister assessed at the press conference that next year could be the end of the pandemic period.

“I didn’t say I predicted the end of the pandemic, I said it was possible. This type of assessment was carried out by Fiocruz technicians. From a final point of view, WHO recognized the pandemic and it would also recognize the nature of the pandemic period”.

Rosana Leite de Melo, extraordinary secretary for the fight against Covid-19, explained that it is up to the Ministry of Health to determine the end of the declaration of international emergency.

However, there are criteria such as incidence rate, hospital admission rate, pandemic situation in the country and in the world.

“Finalizing the emergency will end the pandemic in quotes [no Brasil]” Will the virus end? Probably not. It will jump from one status to another. That’s what we put in the challenge of carrying out planning”.

The Minister of Health even said that he plans to make the use of masks more flexible in Brazil soon. According to him, laws that require the use of masks are ineffective, the ideal is to raise awareness.

“When I arrived I spoke of a homeland with a mask. Today we have a much more balanced situation and we can already think, as long as the context improves every day and the campaign expands, to make the use of masks outdoors more flexible, for example”

“For when? I hope as soon as possible we are working on it. Our problem is not a mask, we have to unmask certain people who are left with narratives that do not sustain themselves.”