April 07, 21 - 9:31 am - LABS

Brazilian Deputies approve a bill that allows private firms to acquire COVID-19 vaccines to employees

The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday approved the basic text of a bill that facilitates the purchase of vaccines by private companies. If the bill is approved by the Senate, companies will be able to buy vaccines for their employees without waiting for the national campaign to reach all priority groups, as prescribed by Brazilian law today.

Yet, the vaccination of employees must follow the priority criteria established in Brazil‘s National Immunization Program. Other workers who provide services to them may also be vaccinated, including interns, freelancers, and employees of temporary or outsourced companies.

The bill maintained the requirement that those companies that buy vaccines donate to the Brazilian public health system SUS an amount equal to that applied to employees.

The text approved by the deputies also allows the purchase of vaccines by companies without the endorsement of Anvisa (Brazil‘s health regulator). It means that COVID-19 shots approved in other countries could be dispensed.

These purchases, if made with laboratories that have already sold vaccines to the federal government, may occur only after the contract has been fully complied and the immunizers have been handed over to the Brazil‘s Ministry of Health.

Anvisa has approved five vaccines in Brazil so far, two for emergency use (Janssen and Coronavac) and the others already with definitive registration (AstraZeneca and Pfizer). AstraZeneca is counted twice, as it considers doses imported from India and those produced in Brazil.

Among the vaccines provided for in the Ministry of Health schedule, two are not yet authorized for use in Brazil: Covaxin (India) and Sputnik V (Russia).

LABS covered Brazilian companies attempt to acquire AstraZeneca’s shots in the beginning of the year. AstraZeneca and BlackRock denied any talks.

According to the Agência Câmara de Notícias, voting on the highlights that may change the text will continue on Wednesday (7), in a plenary session scheduled for 1:55 pm.