Brazilian Health Agency Approves Use of Two Vaccines

Rio de Janeiro (AP) – The Brazilian health regulator on Sunday approved the immediate use of coronovirus vaccines made by Synovac and AstraZeneca, enabling Latin America’s largest country to launch an immunization program, which delayed And is subject to political disputes.

There are currently 6 million doses of Synovac’s Coronavac vaccine in Brazil that are set to be delivered within the next few days and are awaiting the arrival of 2 million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and partner Oxford University.

“This is good news for Brazil, but 6 million doses are still too low. It will not allow the entire population to be fully immunized, nor is it clear how the country will get more vaccines quickly, ”said Eshel Maciel, an epidemiologist at the Federal University of Espírito.

On Saturday night, health regulator Invesa rejected an application for the use of a Russian vaccine called Sputnik V, submitted by Brazilian company Unio Cuimica. Anvisa said it did not evaluate the application because it did not meet the minimum requirements to begin the analysis.

Vaccination in Brazil is commencing despite decades of experience with a stronger public health system and vaccination campaigns compared to neighbors such as Argentina and Chile. The process of introducing and approving COVID-19 vaccines was fraught with conflict, as allies of President Zaire Bolsonaro sought to doubt the efficacy of Synovac, his political rival, Gov. João Doria of the state of São Paulo Was supported by

“The rivalry between Brasilia and state governments stopped any cooperative work,” said Mauricio Santoro, a political science professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro. “” The governor lost the leadership position, but acted more quickly to guarantee Bolsonaro the start of vaccination. “

Immunization priority would be health professionals on the front line against coronovirus. Vaccination by the federal government will begin Wednesday, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuelo said on Sunday.

The state of São Paulo began vaccination on Sunday after Avisa’s decision. Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old nurse who worked on the coronovirus front line, was vaccinated in a ceremony led by Doria. Calazans participated in the Coronavac clinical trial. As more doses are available, according to the vaccination plan submitted by the federal government, vaccination will be expanded to include the indigenous population, people over the age of 60, and people with pre-existing diseases.

Health Minister Eduardo Pazuelo said in Manaus on Monday that the Brazilian government was considering extending the time between the application of the first and second doses of the immunizer to more people.

The Amausian city of Manaus, the first state capital whose health system collapsed due to an epidemic in 2020, is once again facing a critical situation, with oxygen shortages in some hospitals. Doctors in the largest city of the Amazon rainforest have to choose which COVID-19 patients can breathe amid a decrease in oxygen stock.

Hospitals in Manaus, a separate city of 2.2 million people, have admitted some new COVID-19 patients, with many suffering from illness at home and some have died. Other Brazilian states have offered to receive patients and impair Manaus’ health system.

Bolsonaro, who contracted COVID-19 and said in the past that he does not plan to vaccinate, has raised doubts about the effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine, which will be produced locally by an institution that São Paulo depends on the government. Gov. Doria has criticized Bolsonaro’s handling of the epidemic.

The São Paulo government had raised disbelief with a confusing declaration about the consequences of the Coronavac vaccine. Doria announced on 7 January that the efficacy of vaccination was 78% for mild patients and 100% for severe cases. A week later, at a press conference in which the governor was absent, officials in his government said that Coronavac’s clinical efficacy was only about 50%.

Some scientists have warned that not enough data has been published about the effectiveness or safety of Synovac vaccines. It is yet to be tested among tens of thousands of people in a rigorous study considered necessary before obtaining a license for widespread use.

Global health officials have said that any vaccine at least 50% effective would be useful. Indonesia, China and Bolivia have granted conditional authorization for Coronavac.

Despite the suspicion and notoriety of some supporters of the President of Brazil against vaccines, many in Brazil are expected to receive the vaccine.

“I plan to get vaccinated and so will my family,” said 39-year-old Thiago Salgado, a music teacher.

The government’s launch is scheduled to end by 2021, with at least 354 million doses between the contracts for the two vaccines, and which will be produced locally. If this figure is applied, it will be enough to fully immunize at least 80% of Brazilians.

Roussel Esteves, a 74-year-old retiree who supports Bolsonaro, lives in Rio de Janeiro and said he was not keen on getting the vaccine, questioning the efficacy of the Synovac vaccine.

“I’ve been inside my house for another year and a half, I can live without problems for another two or three months,” Esteves said.


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