São Paulo wants direct purchase of Covid shots for children

doria covid children
São Paulo Governor João Doria. Photo: Govesp/Flickr

After regulators greenlit the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine on children aged 5 to 11, the state of São Paulo announced it will negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical giant, without waiting for the federal government. The move comes after President Jair Bolsonaro bashed regulators’ decision and the Health Ministry said rollouts will not begin until next year.

Around 70 million children are now eligible to receive two vaccine shots, each one containing one-third of the adult dose. Children are among the last groups to be included in the Brazilian vaccination campaign.

According to Pfizer, its contract with the Brazilian government allows for modified versions of the vaccine without the need to amend the terms of the agreement — requiring only a formal request from the Health Ministry. But Mr. Bolsonaro’s response to the news suggests that said request is unlikely to arrive any time soon.