Brazil minister urges redoubled caution over vaccination

Children were mistakenly administered adult doses in Paraíba state

Published in 17/01/2022 - 14:07 By Luciano Nascimento - Brasília

Brazil’s Minister Marcelo Queiroga today (Jan. 17) expressed concern over the need for states and municipalities to step up precaution measures in the procedures to inoculate the population against COVID-19—especially children and adolescents.

The warning was issued following an incident in the city of Lucena, outside João Pessoa, capital of the state of Paraíba, where some 40 children were mistakenly vaccinated with adult doses. Shots out of their expiry dates were also administered.

“When we release such warnings, [people often say] the ministry is against [child] vaccination. It’s not a matter of being against it; it’s about the commitment with the appropriate application, in order to prevent adverse effects,” Queiroga said shortly before being taken to Monteiro city, also in Paraíba.

The story surfaced in the last few days, after a mother shared a video on social media where she shows the vaccination card of one of her children reporting they had been vaccinated against the coronavirus early in January. However, the administration of doses and child vaccination had not started until later on. The first shots of the inoculation arrived in Paraíba last Friday (14).

Guidelines

According to the health minister, local health officials must be responsible for the storage of vials and the administration of doses within their expiration dates.

“This is why the vaccination of children aged five through 11 has been allowed within the recommendations of [Brazil’s national regulator] Anvisa. The vaccine bottle is different to prevent undue application, vaccination rooms must also be exclusive, as well as the vaccination agents themselves. Kids must be in observation after taking the shots,” he declared.

After the episode, city authorities in Lucena said they were sorry about the incident, adding that the agent held accountable was dismissed. The children were also said to be monitored, and showed no severe adverse reactions.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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