The board of Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) should decide next week whether to release the use of Coronavac to the public from 3 to 17 years old.
Agency technicians work to deliver opinions on the vaccine at the beginning of the week. In an optimistic scenario, the idea is to gather the top of the body to vote on the request of the Butantan Institute next Wednesday (19).
Members of Anvisa say that the trend is to release the application of Coronavac in children and adolescents, but put some conditions. Among them, that the São Paulo laboratory undertakes to generate data on the use of doses in Brazil, in addition to presenting the outcome of a global study being conducted in China, South Africa, Chile, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The opinions of the technical areas should point out that the vaccine demonstrates solid safety data. In addition, it should be noted that the immunizing agent is widely applied to younger people in other countries, such as Chile. The Andean country has already immunized 1.4 million people between the ages of 3 and 17.
After meeting with the laboratory linked to the government of São Paulo, Anvisa reported on Thursday (13) that the analysis has entered the final stretch.
Chilean researchers, technicians from the Sinovac laboratory and representatives of the SBI (Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases), SBP (Brazilian Society of Pediatrics), SBI (Brazilian Society of Immunology) and Abrasco (Association of Collective Health).
Representatives of medical societies will also deliver a statement to the agency on the use of the vaccine.
As Coronavac does not have a definitive record, the decision on expanding the target audience will be taken by the collegiate board, made up of five members.
Only the Pfizer vaccine against Covid can be applied in Brazil to minors, from 5 years old. In this case, the immunizer has a definitive record. Therefore, the decision to expand the reach of the immunizing agent is taken by technicians and published in the Official Gazette.
The vaccination campaign for children was opened on Friday (14), with the dose of Pfizer. The first immunized was Davi Seremramiwe Xavante, an 8-year-old indigenous boy.
In August, Anvisa’s board of directors denied a request for the use of Coronavac in the 3-17 age group on the grounds of lack of data. Agency members say that the process is now more solid.
The Ministry of Health evaluates using Coronavac in children, if there is approval from Anvisa. As the vaccine is of the same model applied to adults, states are already planning to allocate stocked doses to the younger public.
The advantage of Coronavac is the availability of doses, due to the fact that the immunizer has stopped being used by the federal government.
The vaccination of children and adolescents is a sensitive topic in the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government, as the president distorts data and discourages the immunization of young people.
The president is still a vector of misinformation about Coronavac, a vaccine promoted in Brazil by São Paulo governor João Doria (PSDB), a political enemy and potential adversary of the president in the dispute for the Plateau this year.
Despite the president’s resistance, the ministry expects to receive 30 million pediatric doses from Pfizer by the end of March.
The government of São Paulo estimates that it has the capacity to vaccinate all children aged 3 to 11 in the state against Covid-19 in about ten days.
Bolsonaro even threatened to expose the names of Anvisa servers who approved the use of Pfizer vaccines in children. In response, the agency’s president, Barra Torres, told Folha de S.Paulo newspaper that the chief executive’s speeches encouraged threatening crimes against the regulatory body.
In a note released on the 8th, Barra Torres also refuted insinuations of Anvisa’s alleged hidden interests in vaccinating children, and demanded the president’s retraction.