Vaccination to kick off simultaneously across Brazil

Distribution should begin as soon as the emergency use is validated

Published in 14/01/2021 - 13:21 By Pedro Rafael Vilela, Jonas Valente - Brasília

Brazil’s Ministry of Health announced during a press conference Wednesday (Jan. 13) that vaccination against COVID-19 should start at the same time in all Brazilian states.

Executive Secretary Élcio Franco said the vaccines should be distributed as soon as the country’s national sanitary regulator Anvisa validates their emergency use.

The final meeting on the requests from Butantan Institute, in collaboration with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac, and from Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in partnership with the AstraZeneca/Oxford consortium, will be held by Anvisa next Sunday (17).

“It’s part of the guidelines, and we’ll start the vaccination simultaneously in 26 states and the Federal District. So we’re not beginning with any given state; they’ll all start at the same time—all of it as part of a threefold administration, as the immunization is to be carried out at municipal level. Logistic distribution will be directed at the states, state health secretariats, and from these to municipal secretariats and vaccination stations, until we branch out to our 38 thousand vaccination stations,” he stated. All 5,570 municipalities will receive vaccination doses, starting with the capitals, he went on to report.

The first doses to be distributed will be imported: 6 million of CoronaVac (Sinovac/Butantan) and 2 million of AstraZeneca/Oxford/Fiocruz. In the next months, under a technology transfer deal, both Fiocruz and Butantan Institute will manufacture vaccine doses domestically to move ahead with the national immunization program.

Asked whether the government has set a date for the beginning of the vaccination, the secretary said it is yet to be fixed.

Resources

During the conference, the secretary announces that, since the beginning of the pandemic, the ministry has made 19,517 ICU beds available and extended the contract for another 19,334. Also made available were 1,914 ventilatory support beds. Élcio Franco said that over 306 million pieces of personal protective equipment have been sent to health care centers.

Regarding tests, 11.7 million RT-PCR kits were reported to have been distributed. A total of 8.6 million were conducted at public units. Privately, this number stands at 6.4 million.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Aline Leal / Nira Foster

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