Brazil’s health regulator approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Friday for use in children 12 and older, though it will likely have to wait months in a row for older age groups to be vaccinated first.
Strongly affected by the pandemic, Brazil joins countries such as the United States, Uruguay and Chile to extend vaccination to children.
However, the supply problems mean that the move is mainly symbolic for now.
The momentum for COVID-19 vaccination in Brazil, which began in January, has been affected by shortages and delays.
About 11 percent of the country’s 212 million people have been completely vaccinated so far.
Cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have only recently finished vaccinating priority groups such as health workers and the elderly.
They are now vaccinating the general population in descending order by age and are currently immunizing people over 50 years of age.
Health regulator Anvisa said the approval was based on Pfizer studies that “indicated the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for this age group.”
In addition to the vaccine of the American pharmaceutical giant, developed with the German firm BioNTech, Brazil currently uses the vaccine Oxford / AstraZeneca and CoronaVac, developed by China.
Regulators have also approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but the government has not yet reached an agreement to buy it.
Brazil has struggled to get enough doses of vaccine.
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro faces criticism for rejecting vaccine offers last year, including those from Pfizer, and instead pushed ineffective chloroquine medication against COVID-19.
The pandemic has caused more than 480,000 lives in Brazil, just after the United States.
© 2021 AFP
Citation: Brazil’s Pfizer Green Light Vaccine for Children 12 Years and Over (2021, June 12) Retrieved June 12, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-brazil-green- lights-pfizer-vaccine-kids.html
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