The governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB), said today that vaccination against covid-19 will be mandatory throughout the state if it is approved by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency). Doria had been repeating in recent weeks that she thought the obligation was correct, but had not yet announced the measure. According to the governor, only people with a medical certificate will be released from receiving the immunizer.
Doria also again attacked President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party), accusing him of “politicizing” the vaccine. The attacks face the threat of a lack of agreement between the São Paulo government and the Ministry of Health so that CoronaVac, a vaccine developed and tested by the Butantan Institute in partnership with the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, can be distributed in other states by SUS (Sistema Único of health). The definition, according to Doria, will take place at a meeting next Wednesday (21).
The São Paulo government’s idea is to have CoronaVac approved by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) in time to start vaccinating health professionals in December in the state. The tests are due to be completed this weekend and the results will be delivered to the agency on Monday.
“In São Paulo it will be mandatory, except for those who have medical advice and a certificate that they cannot take. And we will adopt legal measures if there is a contradiction in this regard,” said Doria during a press conference at Palácio dos Bandeirantes, in São Paulo.
The São Paulo governor still maintains the hope that the Butantan immunizer can be distributed nationwide. For that, Doria will attend a decisive meeting next week, in Brasilia, with Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello. The governor also promises to meet with the director of Anvisa, Antônio Barra, on the same day.
“What São Paulo wants is to share the Butantan vaccine so that other states can vaccinate. São Paulo will vaccinate. I have already guaranteed that the 45 million Brazilians in São Paulo will be vaccinated,” said Doria, recalling the 46 million doses of CoronaVac promised until December.
If an agreement with the federal government is not possible, the São Paulo government has already stated that it talks directly with other states to make the Butantan vaccine available to other federations.
A summary of CoronaVac’s testing reports in Brazil will be sent to Anvisa on Monday (19), but Doria said that the agency already has all the necessary data, since these are monitored daily.
“So far, without any collaterality – that is, until now, the positive tests of CoronaVac, the Butantan vaccine with the Sinovac laboratory,” said the governor.
The tests in the country are in the final stretch of phase 3 clinical studies. According to the executive coordinator of the covid-19 Contingency Center in São Paulo, João Gabbardo, the first two phases of testing indicated about 98% effectiveness, while the Ministry of Health speaks of a number greater than 50% for approval by Anvisa.
Gabbardo said he believes that CoronaVac fulfills all the requirements listed by the Ministry of Health to be incorporated into the PNI (National Immunization Program).
* With information from Reuters
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