Cities begin expanding vaccination targets

Cities begin expanding vaccine vaccination targets
Vaccine shipment gets to São Paulo. Photo: Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil

One week after the start of vaccine rollouts in Brazil, local administrations begin to expand their target populations for new doses.

In São Paulo, non-health professionals who work in hospitals will begin receiving vaccines, as will senior citizens in care homes and mental patients. Next week, Rio de Janeiro will also extend its target group, currently limited to health workers over 60. And in Recife, senior citizens outside care homes will be able to apply for vaccination.

Experts warn, however, that authorities are likely to delay second doses in a push to reach more people early on. The United Kingdom’s vaccine advisory committee has decided to delay administering second vaccine doses, claiming it would “save many lives.” Other countries could follow that strategy.

In Brazil, this idea has gained traction after a new coronavirus variant from Manaus was identified in patients in São Paulo. But as the country faces a possible lack of vaccine inputs, immunization could be compromised if a second dose is not administered in time.

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