Coronavirus

Bolsonaro to veto reduced deadlines for vaccine approvals

Bolsonaro to veto reduced deadlines for vaccine approvals
Anvisa director Alessandra Bastos and Chairman Antonio Barra Torres. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr

President Jair Bolsonaro signaled on Wednesday that he plans to veto a change that would force federal health regulator Anvisa to issue emergency approval for vaccines approved by other countries within the space of five days. The current deadline is twice as long, and Anvisa president Antonio Barra Torres says it would not give the agency not enough time to safely analyze clinical trial data of prospective vaccines.

The change in regulation was proposed by Congress, after newly-elected House Speaker Arthur Lira and Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco promised their priority would be to get vaccines to citizens faster.

Their move, however, has rubbed regulators the wrong way, and they see the change as attempted political interference. “[What Congress is trying to do] equates to telling the judge whether a defendant is guilty or innocent before the trial,” said Mr. Barra Torres.

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