Minister Ricardo Lewandowski, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), ordered the 27 state governments and the Federal District to express themselves, within 48 hours, about possible irregularities in the vaccination of children. The allegation was made yesterday by the AGU (Advocacy General of the Union), in a document sent to the Supreme Court.
According to the agency, data reported by states and municipalities indicate that children were vaccinated last year outside the permitted age range or with immunizations not released for children. According to the AGU, the application of doses violates the rules of the PNO (National Vaccination Operational Plan) and Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency).
According to the document sent to the STF, 14,500 children and adolescents aged 0 to 17 years received doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 20,000 from Coronavac and 1,200 from Janssen. In addition, another 2,400 children aged 0 to 4 years received the application of the Pfizer immunizer.
Today the only vaccine released for application in those aged 5 to 17 years is Pfizer (there are still no immunizations released for children aged 0 to 4 years). The other immunizers are only authorized for use in people over 18 years of age.
The data presented by the AGU to the Supreme Court are from the RNDS (National Health Data Network), whose numbers are reported by the health secretariats of the states and municipalities.
In September 2021, the Ministry of Health sent a letter to regional governments requesting clarifications regarding possible discrepancies in the database, but, according to the AGU, “most of the member states did not respond to the inquiries made”.
“The federative entities that spoke, in turn, only presented generic information regarding the existence of errors in the records or compliance with the PNO standards, without promoting any rectification in the data contained in the RNDS”, says the government agency.
Faced with the lack of answers, the Ministry of Health sent new letters in November, but again there were no answers and, according to the AGU, the reinforcement of the statement presented an “innocuous” result.
“The evidence gathered here ostensibly suggests that Anvisa and PNO guidelines may be being systematically disregarded in several Brazilian federative entities when applying vaccines against covid-19 in children under 18 years of age”, says the AGU, which highlights that the practices may be considered cases of negligence.
However, the agency says that “there is, so far, conclusive evidence in this regard”.
Overdue doses applied in Paraíba
The AGU also spoke about the application of expired doses in children aged 5 to 11 years in the city of Lucena, in Paraíba. According to the state Department of Health, 36 children received vaccines out of date and another 13 were vaccinated with doses for adults.
According to the AGU, the occurrence “is already the object of specific treatment by the Ministry of Health, to identify the appropriate measures and any adverse effects caused”.
This case came to light after the mother of one of the children vaccinated wrongly posted on social media a video of her son’s vaccination card with the information that he had been immunized against the coronavirus before the arrival of the exclusive batch for children in Paraíba.
Finally, the AGU states that the Ministry of Health has already adopted “investigative measures” on the discrepancies in the RNDS database, requiring a pronouncement from regional authorities, and the case registered in Paraíba, placing children from the state and other federative units in pharmacological follow-up.