Covid-19: science guides vaccine support

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In response to statements by President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, that the Brazilian government will not buy Chinese vaccines to fight the new coronavirus, Margaret Harris, spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO), said on Friday (23), that the entity decides who it supports by respecting the established scientific criteria, not by nationality. According to Harris, “that’s the beauty of being multilateral, that’s the point of the UN.”

“We choose science and we must choose the best vaccine. And, as we know, we will not support any until proven to obtain the highest standard of safety and the right level of effectiveness,” adds Margaret. Mariângela Simão, deputy director-general of the institution, points out: “Today the world depends on many pharmaceutical products that come from China. Many of the active pharmaceutical ingredients, a good part of the plants, of the production plants, for example, of antibiotics, are Chinese, come from China. ”

“Brazil is able to evaluate, through Anvisa, why a vaccine cannot enter the market before phase 3 ends”, he highlights.

Uncertainty scenario

The controversy over the issue emerged this week. Last Tuesday (20), the Ministry of Health announced the intention to purchase 46 million doses of Coronavac, developed by Asian SinoVac in partnership with the Butantan Institute. A day later, Bolsonaro ordered the agreement to be canceled, alleging a lack of worldwide interest in the substance.

In addition, bureaucratic obstacles, according to the director general of Instituto Butantan Dimas Covas, would be delaying the import of inputs for the production of the solution, since the request made to Anvisa, sent in September, would only be evaluated on 11 November – which would compromise the logistics of operations in the event of approval by Coronavac, after the completion of the tests.

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The agency, in turn, said yesterday (22) that it will enter a special analysis, called a deliberative circuit, with a deadline for response of up to five working days. The vice-president of the Republic, Hamilton Mourão, in an interview conducted this morning (23), regretted the politicization of the immunizer and indicated that the states have the autonomy to acquire it, provided that the processes are successfully concluded.

Anyway, Yin Weidong, CEO of SinoVac, says that he himself received the experimental doses and that the pharmaceutical company is prepared for global distribution of what is considered the safest immunizer among those tested in Brazil. “In the beginning, our strategy involved only China and Wuhan. Right after June and July, we adjusted the approach, which is to serve the world.”


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