Ministry of Health discusses vaccination of adolescents against Covid-19 this Friday

The technical team will debate the issue after the Minas Gerais Court suspends the early immunization of young people between 12 and 14 years old with the Pfizer vaccine in the city of Betim

EFE/EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDSJust like Betim, in Cacoal, a municipality of 90,000 inhabitants in Rondônia, the city began this week the vaccination of adolescents with comorbidities

The City Hall of betim will appeal the decision of the Minas Gerais Court that suspended the vaccination of adolescents aged 12 to 14 against Covid-19 in the city. In the order, Judge Taunier Lima argued that the immunization of this group cannot continue “until documentary proof that all priority groups of the National Vaccination Plan against Covid-19 and all those over 18 years of age were vaccinated”. Currently, the city is immunizing those over 59, people with permanent disabilities and those between 40 and 49 with comorbidities. The fine in case of non-compliance is R$ 500 per dose applied. The mayor of Betim, Vittorio Medioli, says that vaccination of teenagers will enable the resumption of face-to-face classrooms. “Eighth and ninth grade are fundamental. Students who were in the seventh year will not even have the eighth, because last year there was no [aula presencial], nor the ninth, because he didn’t have this year. Goes to high school only with teaching up to seventh grade. This is damage to him, which he will carry for a lifetime,” he said.

The situation in Betim is not isolated. In Cacoal, a municipality of 90,000 inhabitants in Rondônia, the city began this week the vaccination of teenagers with comorbidities with the immunizing agent of Pfizer. The infectious disease physician Renato Kfouri disagrees with the practice and says that it makes no sense to vaccinate young people before adults. “Adolescents transmit little, they are rarely hospitalized. Mortality in this group is extremely low, accounting for less than 0.1% of all deaths in Brazil from Covid-19. So reversing priorities by vaccinating teenagers before vaccinating more priority groups is a big mistake”, he points out. Although local managers of the Unified Health System (SUS) have “autonomy to follow their own vaccination strategy”, the orientation is that States and municipalities finish vaccinating all priority groups defined by the National Immunization Plan. So far, only the vaccine from Pfizer is approved by Anvisa to be applied to adolescents from 12 years of age. According to the Ministry of Health, the topic will be discussed at the Technical Advisory Chamber on Immunization and Communicable Diseases this Friday, 18.

*With information from reporter Letícia Santini

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