COVID-19 in Brazil: the 2nd dose unavailable in many cities

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RIO DE JANEIRO | In seven capitals of Brazilian states, including large metropolises such as Belo Horizonte or Porto Alegre, injections of the second dose of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine have been suspended for lack of doses.

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According to the count of the information site G1, Aracaju, Recife (north-east), Belem, Porto Velho (north) and Campo Grande (center-west) are also in this situation, due to the lack of doses of this serum. , the most used in Brazil today, with 77% of injections.

In Rio de Janeiro, the town hall had initially suspended for 10 days the vaccination for the second dose of CoronaVac on Saturday, before deciding the next day to stagger it by age groups, starting with those over 70 years old, from this Monday.

COVID-19 in Brazil: the 2nd dose unavailable in many cities

But those under the age of 60 who received the first dose from April 10 to 17, especially caregivers, will have to wait until May 17 for the second, 30 to 40 days later, while the recommended interval is 28 days.

According to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, more than half of state capitals do not have the necessary reserves for the second dose to be available to all in due time.

And data from the National Confederation of Municipalities showed that 30% of Brazilian municipalities ran out of stock for the second dose last week.

Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga admitted on Sunday that the problem was due to a flawed decision by his predecessor, General Eduardo Pazuello, who left his post in mid-March.

COVID-19 in Brazil: the 2nd dose unavailable in many cities

In February, the latter recommended that states and municipalities draw on stocks reserved for the second dose to speed up the pace of vaccination.

He relied on new deliveries which were ultimately delayed, in particular because of the difficulties in importing the active ingredients needed to manufacture the vaccines.

On Friday, the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, responsible for this production, announced the anticipated delivery of 600,000 doses.

But only 42 million of the 46 million doses initially planned by the end of April were delivered within these deadlines.

Brazil has more than 407,000 deaths from the coronavirus, the second-worst death toll in the world, and vaccination began late, in mid-January, a month after the United States, most European countries and neighboring countries like the ‘Argentina.

The other vaccine currently in use is Astrazenaca, and Pfizer’s vaccine began dispensing on Monday, after a million doses arrived last Thursday.

Despite the lack of doses that is currently slowing vaccination, Minister Queiroga assured last Friday during a video conference at the World Health Organization (WHO) that all Brazilians would be vaccinated by the end of the year.