Brazil will receive 600,000 additional doses of Pfizer‘s pediatric vaccine against Covid-19 in January, totaling 4.3 million doses this month, the Ministry of Health said on Monday. The additional doses represent an advance on vaccines that would be sent in the following months, according to minister Marcelo Queiroga.
“We managed to anticipate with Pfizer over 600,000 doses of the pediatric vaccine in January. There will be 4.3 million doses of vaccine,” said the minister, according to a statement from the ministry.
The Ministry of Health only included the pediatric vaccine (5 to 11 years old) in the national calendar of vaccination against COVID-19 last week, 20 days after the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) approved the application of immunizing agents in children.
The ministry’s delay came amid criticism by President Jair Bolsonaro of childhood vaccination against COVID-19, with unfounded accusations about the safety of the immunizing agent. Bolsonaro even considered regrettable the decision of Anvisa to authorize the vaccine and repeated that his 11-years-old daughter, Laura, will not be vaccinated.
Given the president’s resistance, the ministry created a public consultation via the Internet and a public hearing to debate the guidelines for childhood vaccination, which further delayed the start of the process.
The first batch of pediatric vaccines is scheduled to arrive in the country this week. In total, 20 million pediatric doses were purchased with delivery in the first quarter, according to the ministry.
Translated by LABS