Brazil includes children aged 5 to 11 in vaccination plan
Child immunization will not require prescription
Published in 06/01/2022 - 10:57 By Agência Brasil - Brasília - Brasília
Children aged 5 to 11 years shall be included in the Brazilian vaccination plan against COVID-19, states Brazil’s government. 4.94 million doses of Pfizer's immunizing agent for this age group shall arrive in Brazil in January. This is the only immunizing agent approved so far by Brazil’s national drug regulator Anvisa.
In the first quarter 2022, Brazil shall receive a total of 20 million pediatric doses for this target group, which includes about 20.5 million children.
"There will be no lack of vaccine for all parents who wish to vaccinate their children," said Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga, at a press conference.
The vaccination plan consists of two doses, with an eight-week interval. This period is longer than the three weeks suggested by Pfizer's vaccine medication guide.
According to the Ministry of Health, children who will be vaccinated must be accompanied by their parents or guardians or must show a written authorization. A doctor's prescription will not be required.
The Ministry also informed the order of priority for vaccination as follows: children with comorbidities and permanent disabilities; indigenous children, quilombolas (Afro-Brazilian descendants of slavery), children living with people at risk of developing COVID-19 severe conditions; and eventually children without comorbidities.
Marcelo Queiroga and his advisors had suggested the holding of public consultations and hearings before making the decision to include children in the National Immunization Plan (PNI), although Brazil’s national drug regulator Anvisa, linked to the Ministry of Health, had already authorized the vaccination of Pfizer immunizing agent in this age group on December 16.
“There is no delay. We cannot import doses before Anvisa's approval. The public consultation was important for the Ministry to take a position”, declared Queiroga. The minister also informed that the total cost of vaccinating the population aged 5 to 11 shall be around BRL 460 million.
A contract addendum with Pfizer on a delivery of 20 million doses in the first quarter 2022 has already been signed, says the minister.
According to Pfizer, the first doses shall be delivered in the week of January 10.
Translation: Mario Nunes - Edition: Pedro Ivo de Oliveira/Nira Foster