Brazil to start vaccinating children this month
Brazilian children aged 5 to 11 will be added to the National Immunization Program against COVID-19, Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga announced Wednesday.
Children must be accompanied by their parents or guardian at the time of vaccination, and we recommend that parents who have doubts consult their trusted pediatrician, Queiroga said during a press conference.
Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) had approved vaccinating children from 5 to 11 years old on Dec. 16, 2021.
The Brazilian Government had insisted on having doctors write a prescription for a COVID-19 vaccine in the case of children. However, Queiroga explained that such a request from President Jair Bolsonaro was going to be overlooked after listening to specialists in a public hearing held Tuesday.
Queiroga also said the first shipment of 1.2 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccines was due to arrive Jan. 13 and it will be prioritized to children with comorbidities, or belonging to indigenous communities, or immunosuppressed or those who live with high-risk elderly people. The government bought 20 million Pfizer pediatric vaccines. So far, Brazil has only vaccinated people over 12 years of age.
Our children, who are the future of Brazil, deserve special emphasis, that must be treated with a specific vaccine, Queiroga also said. Vaccination will begin gradually, starting with children aged 11 and 10 years old, and those with comorbidities and other health conditions.
President Bolsonaro had questioned Anvisa’s recommendation, announcing he would not vaccinate his 11-year-old daughter, and organized a popular online consultation on the immunization of minors.