O Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, denies having followed an order from the president Jair Bolsonaro for suspend vaccination in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years. The measure was announced on Thursday (16).
“Bolsonaro didn’t send anything. The president doesn’t interfere with that,” Queiroga told the column.
According to the minister, the president only receives information that he passes on to him. “Bolsonaro is the president of the Republic. We talk several times a day. And he knows something and says to me, ‘Queiroga, look at this,'” says the minister.
In a press statement on Thursday (16), Queiroga acknowledged that Bolsonaro asked questions about the vaccination of young people.
“The president asks me about these vaccination issues every day, especially with this issue of teenagers,” said the minister.
“The president is very concerned about the future of the country. Just today he called me: ‘Queiroga, look there.’ The minister did not give details about what the president asked for.
In broadcast on social networks alongside the minister, Bolsonaro also admitted that he gave him his “opinions”.
Allies of cheesy and government officials who followed the retreat claim that Bolsonaro made demands based on statements circulating on social networks of alleged adverse reactions to the vaccines.
O minister affirms that a suspension of vaccination in adolescents began to be discussed by him on Wednesday (15). “I went to São Paulo and learned of an adverse event that could be related to the vaccine. My obligation is to find out,” he says.
The SP Epidemiological Surveillance Center investigates the death of a 16-year-old teenager that would be related to the application of the Pfizer vaccine. A resident of São Bernardo do Campo (SP), she received the immunizing agent eight days before. The protocol, in these cases, is that there is an investigation. So far, there is no proof that the death is related to the vaccine.
Queiroga says that the suspension decided now is similar to the application of the AstraZeneca vaccine to pregnant women, in May, which occurred after the death of a pregnant woman who had received the immunizing agent.
“The manager is me, not the people who give interviews on TVs. I am responsible. There was a serious adverse event, I have a commitment to investigate,” he says. “I have to arbitrate these issues. I’m the minister and I’m not going to shy away from me,” he continues.
Queiroga says that after learning of the adolescent’s death, he asked his team to survey the number of people aged 12 to 17 who had already been immunized on the basis of the SUS. And he says he was amazed by the number of more than 3.5 million immunized.
“The vaccination of this population would start on September 15th. How many had already received doses?”, he asks. There were also suspicions that municipalities were applying unauthorized vaccines for this age group. The only immunizing agent authorized by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) for this public is Pfizer.
He also claims that technicians from the National Immunization Program (PNI) were not heard because the body is not deliberative. “It’s an advisory body,” he says.
The minister’s decision surprised and angered public network managers. The councils of health secretaries of states (Conass) and municipalities (Conasems) did not recommend suspending vaccination.
The entities also demanded Anvisa’s position, which approved the use of Pfizer’s immunizing agent for young people aged 12 to 17 even without comorbidity. In the late afternoon, the agency said it investigates reports of adverse reactions, but that there is no reason to change the vaccine package insert.’
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