Youth vaccine suspension divides states and evidences unequal vaccination

The retreat of the Ministry of Health in relation to adolescent vaccination against covid-19 evidenced the difference in the rate of vaccination between states and municipalities in Brazil. The decision divides the states — until last night, the majority announced it would ignore the ministry’s recommendation.

While São Luís (MA) and Macapá (AP) have already finished vaccinating this public and Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are at an advanced stage, Belo Horizonte (MG), Cuiabá (MT), Curitiba (PR), João Pessoa ( PB) and Teresina (PI) did not even begin to immunize adolescents without comorbidities.

Last Wednesday night (15), the Ministry of Health recommended that vaccination for adolescents aged 12 to 17 without comorbidities be suspended. the minister Marcelo Queiroga attributed the decision to actions by states and municipalities, such as “out of time” vaccination and application errors.

Mayors and governors who decided to continue with the vaccination say they still have vaccines in stock. For some managers, the ad was an “excuse” to deal with the lack of doses — which Health denies.

O UOL found that, until last night, at least four states (Alagoas, Minas Gerais, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul) and the Federal District accepted the Health decision and announced the interruption of vaccination for this age group.

Another 14 said they will continue with the calendar. They are: Acre, Amapá, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Roraima, Santa Catarina and São Paulo.

While eight states (Amazonas, Bahia, Mato Grosso, Paraíba, Rio de Janeiro, Rondônia, Sergipe and Tocantins) have not announced any decision.

Servings in stock

States and municipalities started this vaccine [para adolescentes] before, even in August, the vaccine that was supposed to start yesterday [quinta-feira]. How do we manage to coordinate the campaign in this way?
Marcelo Queiroga, Minister of Health

According to a previous determination of the folder, the vaccines “stamped” for the public from 12 to 17 years old without comorbidities would be distributed from last Thursday (15).

However, with doses in stock, some municipalities started to vaccinate this age group before.

São Luís started the campaign in July and has already ended. In other words, for the capital of Maranhão, the Health recommendation does not even have a practical effect.

The cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro began in the last week of August and are already at an advanced stage: 47% and 85% of teenagers, respectively, have already taken the first dose.

Paraná reiterated yesterday that it awaits the definition of Health to vaccinate adolescents without comorbidities. The State Health Department stated that it had not officially started to vaccinate this range because the vaccines “stamped” for this purpose had not been delivered.

Anvisa rebate Queiroga

Conass (National Council of Health Secretaries) consulted Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) about the measure of the Ministry of Health.

In June, the agency authorized the application of Pfizer for the population over 12 years old. So far, this is the only immunizing agent allowed for children under 18 years of age.

Yesterday, Queiroga also recommended that teenagers do not get the second dose of the vaccine.

The folder states that there were 1,500 unanticipated reactions among the more than 3.5 million adolescents vaccinated in Brazil.

But, in a statement released last night, the Anvisa says there were 32 cases of the type registered in the country. The agency also says that “all vaccines authorized and distributed in Brazil are being monitored continuously” for adverse cases.

Queiroga said that Health will maintain the decision “until I have more evidence“, but did not mention whether there are new studies in progress or any dialogue with Anvisa in this area.

In turn, the agency emphasizes that “there is no evidence that supports or requires changes to the approved package insert, notably, regarding the indication for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in the population between 12 and 17 years of age”.

Lack of vaccines in the states

Last week, at least six states reported lack of vaccine. Between August 27 and September 13, Fiocruz interrupted the delivery of doses of Astrazeneca/Oxford to the PNI (National Immunization Plan), resuming last Tuesday (14).

Yesterday, the city of Rio de Janeiro announced that will suspend the second dose of Coronavac for lack of vaccine in stock. Before, the municipality had already stated that the recommendation of the Ministry of Health “takes into account the time of vaccine shortage“.

A São Paulo City Hall also stated that “understands that the restriction imposed by the federal government [em relação à vacina de adolescentes] it is only for logistical reasons, as it is an effective and safe immunizing agent previously authorized”.

cheesy denied that the suspension was due to lack of doses. “The states say that Astrazeneca is missing and they are using Astrazeneca on those who are not supposed to use it. too much vaccine, there’s so much that they’re vaccinating those who shouldn’t, starting the third dose ahead of time.”

Despite recent shortages, Pfizer’s vaccine has arrived in Brazil regularly and has even been used to complete the vaccination schedule for those who have been vaccinated with Astrazeneca and cannot find the immunizing agent on the date of their second dose.

In recent days, the rates of deaths and cases are falling in the country. The press consortium, of which the UOL is part, registered 100,027 new cases between August 27th and September 1st. Fifteen days later, between the 10th and 15th of this month, there were 57,645 cases.

In the same period, the moving average of deaths was down for 22 days and returned to the level of stability on September 15th and stands at 597.

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