In a conversation with journalists today, the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, said that vaccinating children against covid-19 is not a collective issue, but an individual decision by parents and guardians. Despite this, the minister stressed that Pfizer’s childhood vaccine, the only one released in Brazil for this public, is safe.
“In the US, according to the CDC [Centro de Controle e Prevenção de Doenças], have administered more than 8 million such pediatric vaccines. So far, the vaccine has a safety profile,” he said. “It’s not a collective issue, parents need to make that decision,” he added.
“The Ministry’s recommendation is made: parents are free to take their children to the vaccination rooms. If in doubt, consult a doctor they trust. [vacinas] are released by Anvisa [Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária], which attested to the safety of the vaccines”, he reinforced.
Today, Brazil immunized the first child in the age group of 5 to 11 years against the coronavirus. The minister did not want to say whether he would take a child of that age to get the vaccine. “If I had a child that age, my wife would kill me,” he said.
Queiroga’s speech about collectivity goes against the position of world entities and scientists, who defend precisely that vaccination is a collective issue to protect oneself and others around.
Yesterday, the Minister of Health had said that immunization with a second and third dose is the best way to relieve the pressure on the health system, caused by the ômicron variant and the new flu strain.
Rivalry with Doria
Asked today if CoronaVac, from the Butantan Institute in São Paulo, could be included as an option to immunize children, Queiroga said it was necessary to wait for Anvisa’s evaluation, but that all vaccines are considered, regardless of “the pharmaceutical”.
In several moments of the conversation, the minister pointed out that the immunizing agents applied are from Brazil and were guaranteed “by the [de Jair] Bolsonaro”.
On Twitter today, Queiroga accused the governor of São Paulo and presidential candidate, João Doria (PSDB), of using vaccination with electoral intent.
“He has the vaccines of the Brazilian government and the Brazilian people in his hands, making a stand. He thinks this will take him out of the 3%. Give up!”, wrote the minister, referring to the percentage of votes intended by Doria in polls on the 2022 presidential election.
Hours later, Doria’s party took to social media to post a meme as if the presidential candidate were a participant in Big Brother Brazil 2022. In his profession, the team wrote that Doria is “the father of the vaccine”.