Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) decided today, at a board meeting, to postpone the release of the covid self-test in Brazil, requested by the Ministry of Health last week. By 4 votes to 1, the agency gave the ministry a period of 15 days to present additional information about the use of the tests.
Defended this week by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), self-tests are used in Europe and the United States, but have not yet been released in Brazil. In the case of the self-test, which must be found in pharmacies, the patient himself is the one who collects his sample, at home, and takes the result according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Director Cristiane Jourdan, the request’s rapporteur, was the only one who voted to release the self-test, but made reservations to highlight that the ministry should detail a nationwide testing strategy. For the other directors, however, he understood that the government must prepare this public policy before the self-tests are released.
“An approval along these lines would only provide the possibility of access to a diagnostic screening instrument, which necessarily needs to come in the wake of a public policy, in the sense of solving a series of issues so far not fully covered by the analysis we carried out. “, said the president of Anvisa, Antonio Barra Torres.
In the document sent to Anvisa, the ministry stated that self-testing is “an additional strategy to prevent and interrupt” the transmission of the coronavirus, alongside social isolation and the use of masks. “Self-tests can be performed at home or on the go, are easy to use and produce fast results.”
The collegiate board of Anvisa meets again tomorrow, from 10 am, to decide whether to release the Coronavac vaccine for children from 3 years of age. The request for emergency use of the immunizer for children was made by the Butantan Institute.