Brazil’s health minister says Delta variant is being monitored

The strain of the novel coronavirus has been found in Brazil

Published in 23/07/2021 - 12:21 By Vladimir Platonow - Rio de Janeiro

Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said Thursday (Jul. 22) the ministry is monitoring the Delta variant of COVID-19 at the same time it is making strides in the mass vaccination drive.

“This monitoring is no different from what’s been done since the beginning. The genomic surveillance is what allows us to diagnose any variant, not just Delta. We have some cases identified here in Brazil and what we need to do is isolate—not just those with the Delta variant, but also those with other forms of the virus—and continue the vaccination campaign,” he said.

Queiroga spent the day in Rio de Janeiro, and, talking to journalists, was asked whether he would send more doses to states and capitals that are behind in schedule in the vaccination coverage.

“The ministry has sent doses in increasingly large volumes. By September, all the population aged 18 and above is estimated to have receive the first dose and 50 percent to have received the second dose. Until this year is over, all the population aged 18 and older will have received both doses of the vaccine,” he pointed out.

According to the minister, other groups are under consideration for inclusion in the National Immunization Program (PNI), like teenagers: “These decisions are not the minister’s; they’re made by the program’s technical staff. Some epidemiological aspects are considered, like new variants, and we have now stepped up the scheme in border areas, to increase the epidemiological protection so that possible variants are not transmitted collectively in Brazil.”

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

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