Coronavirus

Vaccines for children to arrive in second half of January, says Health Minister

Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said vaccine doses for children will arrive in Brazil this month. Photo: Shutterstock
Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said vaccine doses for children will arrive in Brazil this month. Photo: Shutterstock

After much discussion and controversy regarding the vaccination of children against Covid-19 in Brazil, Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said that doses specially measured for children between 5 and 11 years old will arrive in Brazil from the second half of January onwards. 

After an event on Monday, Mr. Queiroga stated that, with the decision, Brazil will be “one of the first countries to distribute vaccines to children.”  However, countries such as the U.S., Germany, France, Argentina, Canada, Chile, and Israel have already been immunizing this age group since last year.

Brazil’s federal health regulator Anvisa authorized the immunization of children with Pfizer doses back in December. The government, however, was reluctant to begin administering doses to under 11s, claiming that there was no urgent need to do so. 

The Health Ministry also carried out a public consultation on the subject, gathering submissions until this Sunday. Experts criticized the process, claiming it intentionally elicited negative responses to the idea of immunization. 

Nevertheless, Mr. Queiroga stated that the hearing is not a referendum and will not decide his department’s decision. “It is a public consultation, followed by a public hearing where specialists from different lines of thought will be able to have a discussion so that society can understand,” he said on Monday.