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Covid vaccines begin to be sold to private clinics in May in Brazil


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With the end of the health emergency in the country, clinics and private companies will be able to acquire vaccines against Covid-19 without the need to donate to SUS (Sistema Único de Saúde). At least AstraZeneca Brasil is already preparing the first doses for delivery to private clinics in May.

On the 22nd, the 30-day period of validity of the ordinance that puts an end to Espin (Public Health Emergency of National Importance) ends.

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By law, clinics and private companies could already acquire immunizations against Covid, but they had to donate the entire acquisition to SUS as long as there was vaccination of priority groups.

Geraldo Barbosa, president of ABCVac (Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics), said that there is still no contract closed, but negotiations are advanced with AstraZeneca.

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“The volume of doses, prices and when exactly the doses will be available in the clinics have not yet been closed, because it depends on the purchase of each clinic”, he said.

AstraZeneca Brasil, in a note, confirmed the negotiations.

“The first doses should be delivered to institutions in May. As for the availability to the final public, it is up to each institution”, said the laboratory.

Pfizer and Janssen said they are not yet negotiating with the private sector and that supply, for now, is exclusively for the federal government.

Coronavac, produced by the Butantan Institute, only has an emergency use record at Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency). In this way, it would not enter the list of vaccines that could be commercialized.

The Ministry of Health asked Anvisa to evaluate the possibility of using the immunizer with emergency use status for a year even with the end of the health emergency. The analysis will still undergo a vote by the agency’s collegiate board.

The intention of the folder is that this immunizing agent is directed to children and adolescents from 5 to 18 years old.

The president of ABCVac said that a Provisional Measure was being prepared to regulate the sale of vaccines in the private sector, but people who deal with the issue at the Ministry of Health say that the legal department of the folder considers that this will not be necessary.

Law 14,125, approved in March last year, provides that clinics can purchase immunizers, but with the condition of donating all doses to SUS as long as there is vaccination of the priority group.

Only after the immunization of priority groups could companies acquire, distribute and administer vaccines, but even then they would have to direct at least 50% of the doses to the SUS, using the others free of charge. As a result, there was no interest from the private sector in the acquisition.

These rules expire with the end of the health emergency.

Barbosa said that the target audience of private clinics will be employees of companies, people who work in risky places and want to reinforce the dose. Everyone will have to present a medical prescription to receive the immunizer.

“In addition to people who in the future may not enter the SUS vaccination coverage. With the disease controlled, the vaccine should be like the flu, applied to specific groups,” he said.

Conass (National Council of Health Secretaries) and Conasems (National Council of Municipal Health Secretaries) have already asked the ministry to include the Covid-19 vaccine in the PNI (National Immunization Program) so that the immunizer can be part of the annual vaccination schedule.

Recently, the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, told Sheet that the ministry has not yet decided when and how the definitive vaccination schedule against Covid-19 will be implemented in Brazil.

The measure has been demanded by health managers in the states.

Despite the charges, the minister says that there is still a lack of scientific evidence to announce the groups that should be vaccinated every year (whether specific populations or almost all Brazilians, as happened in 2021), the regularity with which people will receive the immunizations , and even which vaccines will be the most appropriate for the new epidemiological reality of Covid-19

“The world still doesn’t have all these answers,” he said.

This Friday (28), Brazil reached 663,484 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

The average number of deaths had been keeping in recent weeks at levels close to 100 a day, but had a high this Friday, reaching 124.

Regarding vaccination, more than 177 million people (more than 82% of the population) received at least the first dose of a vaccine against Covid in Brazil – 164 million have already received at least the second dose of the immunizer.

The country data, collected up to 8 pm, are the result of collaboration between Sheet, UOL, O Estado de S. Paulo, Extra, O Globo and G1 to gather and disclose the numbers related to the new coronavirus pandemic.​

Sought after, Anvisa and the Ministry of Health did not respond to questions until the publication of this report.

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