Science

Covid: start of childhood vaccination in Brazil – Sciences et Avenir

Vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19 in Brazil began on Friday in Sao Paulo, a month after it was approved by health authorities despite criticism from President Jair Bolsonaro.

Davi Seremramiwe Xavante, an eight-year-old indigenous boy with a disability, was the first Brazilian child to be vaccinated, during an official ceremony at the Hospital de Clinicas in Sao Paulo.

This ceremony was attended by Joao Doria, center-right governor of the state of Sao Paulo, staunch opponent of Jair Bolsonaro and presidential candidate also for October.

It was already in Sao Paulo, the largest metropolis in Brazil, with 12 million inhabitants, where the first injection of a dose of anti-Covid vaccine was made in Brazil, to a 54-year-old black nurse, on January 17. , 2021.

Mass vaccination of children ages 5 to 11 will begin next week across the country with pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and must be authorized by parents.

More than 20 million children may be immunized, with doses of pediatric vaccine from the US laboratory Pfizer-BioNtech, and prior authorization from parents.

Children with comorbidities and populations considered more vulnerable, such as indigenous people, are prioritized.

– Distrust of the president –

This vaccination campaign begins a month after the green light from the Anvisa health surveillance agency.

Since then, President Bolsonaro has continued to criticize this decision, assuring that he would never vaccinate his 11-year-old daughter, Laura.

Not vaccinated himself, the Head of State notably sparked controversy by asking for the list of those responsible for approving the immunization of children to be published.

An association of Anvisa officials denounced “fascist methods” and the director of the agency requested police protection for his staff, after the proliferation of threats.

According to official data from the Ministry of Health, more than 300 children between the ages of 5 and 11 have died from Covid-19 in Brazil, which deplores a total of more than 620,000 deaths, the second worst figure after the United States.

Many experts consider it essential to include children in the vaccination campaign to protect them and stop the pandemic, at a time of expansion of the Omicron variant.

The number of Covid infections has skyrocketed in Brazil since the appearance of the Omicron variant, with 112,286 new cases registered in just 24 hours on Friday, a figure close to the absolute record of 115,228 cases reached on June 23 in the middle of the third wave. .

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