by Pedro Fonseca
(Reuters) – The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, said on Wednesday that he expects the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) to send enough doses to guarantee a second dose for all people immunized with the AstraZeneca vaccine even after the reduction of the interval between doses, but admitted that the folder may recommend a combination of different vaccines in case of shortage.
The ministry announced earlier that, starting in September, it will anticipate the interval between the first and second doses of vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca from the current 12 weeks to 8 weeks, with the aim of accelerating the process of complete immunization of Brazilians.
According to Queiroga, who participated in an online event organized by XP Investimentos, the forecast of the paste is that there will be no shortage of doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca even with the reduction of the interval, but, in case of delay in production by Fiocruz, the paste may return at a 12-week interval as well as implementing the so-called interchangeability, applying a second dose with Pfizer’s immunizing agent to those who were initially vaccinated with AstraZeneca.
Queiroga also recalled that more than 8 million Brazilians have not returned to take the second dose of vaccines against Covid-19, which reduces the effectiveness of the immunization program.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, until Tuesday, 123.9 million people had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine – or about 59% of the population – while 55.7 million had a complete vaccination schedule – equivalent to about 26.5% of the country’s total population.
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