The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, told the column on Monday (26) that it is “very likely” that the folder will announce the reduction of the interval between the first and second doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in Brazil.
Instead of waiting three months for the second application, those who were or will still be immunized with the vaccine will receive the booster within 21 days.
The time is provided for in the package insert of the Pfizer vaccine, but the Ministry of Health decided, in the past, to extend it to three months to be able to immunize more people faster with the first dose.
“At that time, we were not sure how many doses of Pfizer we would receive this year and we chose to increase the number of people vaccinated with the first dose. But now we have security in deliveries and we only depend on the completion of the study of the internal distribution logistics of immunizers to hammer out the reduction of Pfizer’s break to 21 days,” says the minister. “The logistics simulations are already being finalized”, he continues.
In other words, even if Pfizer’s delivery schedule is maintained, without anticipation, it will be possible to reduce it, as long as the logistical capacity of the distribution of the ampoules is confirmed.
“Things are evolving in this direction [de redução do intervalo]”, he reinforces. “Soon we will have the definition”.
He points out that the final word will be given to technicians and coordinators of the National Vaccination Program (PNI), who are already in an advanced debate about the possibility.
According to Queiroga, Pfizer “is very punctual in the delivery of vaccines”, and by December it will fulfill the contract and make available another 170 million doses to Brazil.
In total, the Ministry of Health has purchased 200 million doses from Pfizer. Until August 1st, a total of 30 million doses will have been delivered. In August and September another 70 million should be made available. And from October to December, the remaining 100 million doses.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, produced in Brazil by Fiocruz, should continue with the interval of three months, which is predicted by the pharmaceutical company as ideal for the product.
“There is still a lack of studies to prove that this interval could be reduced,” says minister Queiroga.
The anticipation of the second dose can help to curb the epidemic in the country, as it guarantees a more effective immunization against the new coronavirus. It can also be important in combating the Delta variant, considered more contagious than the others already circulating in Brazil.
Delta is already becoming predominant in several countries around the world, but there is still doubt whether this can happen in the country, where the Gamma circulates with greater intensity, which could stop the increase of the variant originally identified in India.
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