Covid-19: Brazil approved Pfizer's vaccine for people over 12 years old

The National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil (Anvisa) reported this Friday that it authorized the administration of Pfizer coronavirus vaccines to adolescents, starting at 12 years of age.

The regulator said it made the decision after evaluating studies, conducted outside of Brazil, that demonstrated safety and efficacy for that age group.

The vaccine, the first in Brazil to receive final approval from Anvisa, was already authorized for use in adolescents aged 16 and over, the regulator said, adding that Pfizer’s injection is the only one authorized for use in minors.

Before this decision, the drug could only be applied to people 16 years of age or older in the country, one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with 482,000 deaths and 17.2 million confirmed cases, according to the latest official data.

The Chinese-produced Sinovac and AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccines are also applied in Brazil, and a batch of the formula from Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, is scheduled to arrive this month.

A week ago, Anvisa also authorized “exceptionally and temporarily” the importation of “specific batches” of the Russian-produced Sputnik V and Covaxin vaccines from the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech.

As in most countries in the world, Brazil’s vaccination campaign against Covid-19 – which began on January 17 – faced difficulties due to the shortage of immunizers and high global demand.

To date, approximately a quarter of the population has received the first puncture, but only 11% the full regimen with the two doses.

Despite the slowness, Brazil is one of the few countries with the capacity to produce vaccines in the national territory.

After reaching agreements with its manufacturers, the Butantan Institute of Sao Paulo produces the Sinovac formula, while the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) manufactures locally the drug from the biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca / Oxford.

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