January 17, 22 - 11:35 am - Reuters

In Brazil, 79% of the population supports children vaccination against COVID-19, says Datafolha

The vaccination of children between 5 and 11 years old against COVID-19 is supported by 79% of the population, according to a Datafolha survey published in the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo this Monday. According to the survey, 17% of those interviewed were against the vaccination of children, while 4% did not know how to respond.

The first child that received Pfizer‘s pediatric vaccine against COVID-19, last Friday, was an indigenous boy, of the Xavante ethnicity. The immunization took place almost a year after the start of vaccination in adults in Brazil and almost a month after the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) approved the vaccine for people between 5 and 11 years old.

Davi Seremramiwe receives a pediatric vaccine against Covid-19 in São Paulo. 01/14/2022. Photo: REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

The start of vaccination was postponed by the Ministry of Health, which decided to carry out a public comment on the subject, which is unusual since Anvisa is legally responsible for certifying the safety and efficacy of vaccines in Brazil. At the time, the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, said that there was no urgency to start vaccinating children against the coronavirus.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who often and without a scientific basis questions the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, is against immunizing children against Covid-19. The president said last week that vaccinating children is not justified, despite the fact that more than 300 children in Brazil have already died from the disease.

Without presenting data or evidence, Bolsonaro often raises doubts about the safety of the vaccine and said he will not vaccinate his 11-year-old daughter against the disease.

Bolsonaro also said in a broadcast on a social network that he had asked for the names of Anvisa technicians responsible for the decision to approve Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine to publicize them, which led to a wave of threats against officials and directors of the regulatory body.

The president also questioned in an interview what Anvisa’s interests would be in approving the immunizer for children.

In response to the insinuation, the president of Anvisa, Antônio Barra Torres, released a note in which he asked the president to denounce him for corruption if he has evidence or retracts. Bolsonaro, in turn, said he had not made any accusations and called the Anvisa president’s note aggressive.

Datafolha interviewed 2,023 people over 16 years old between January 12 and 13. The margin of error is two percentage points.

(Translated by LABS)