In practice, the main change in the text is remove the requirement, currently provided for by law, that companies can only start their own vaccination after the immunization of priority groups by the Unified Health System (SUS).
The text also allows the purchase of immunizers authorized by foreign agencies recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), even if they are not registered or authorized by Anvisa.
For the conclusion of the vote, the deputies need to analyze the highlights, that is, suggestions for changes in the text. Then, the matter goes to the Senate.
The text has the support of the Mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL) – who, last week, defended the change alongside the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, and the President of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG ).
According to Lira, the private sector can speed up the vaccination process in the country. See what the Mayor says in the video below:
Lira defends vaccine purchase by companies without donation to SUS
Earlier, the plenary approved a “very urgent” request for the project, releasing the text for voting on the same day.
Today, the law already allows the purchase of immunizers by legal entities. However, the rule is that the entire stock must be donated to SUS until the vaccination of priority groups is completed.
With this first phase completed, the rule changes: companies can buy, distribute and apply vaccine doses, but half of the stock has to be donated to SUS. The other half can be applied free of charge to employees of the firm, for example.
The proposal approved by the Chamber eases this requirement, allowing companies to choose one of two counterparts:
- donate the doses in full the Unified Health System (SUS) to be used in the National Immunization Program (PNI); or
- apply the doses exclusively to your employees (whether they are employees, interns, associates, freelancers or service providers), free of charge, and donate the same amount used to SUS.
Chamber analyzes project to purchase vaccines by companies without donation to SUS
In addition, according to the proposal, companies must follow the priority criteria established in the National Immunization Program (PNI) for the vaccination of their employees.
The bill also creates a deadlock for the purchase of these vaccines. The text states that laboratories that have signed contracts with the Ministry of Health can only sell doses to the private sector if they have already delivered all doses purchased by the government.
The first version of the project provided, in return, the possibility of immunizing, also, the first-degree relatives of the employees – instead of donating the doses to SUS. This excerpt was removed by the rapporteur, deputy Celina Leão (PP-DF).
The author of the project, Deputy Hildo Rocha (MDB-BA), had also proposed the full deduction in the Corporate Income Tax of expenses with the purchase of vaccines. The passage was the target of criticism and was left out of the approved opinion.
Rapporteur of the text, the deputy Celina Leão included on Tuesday a device that allows the hiring, by the companies, of health establishments authorized to import vaccines – hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, for example.
The rapporteur argues that a 1973 law establishes that only companies licensed by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) or by state health surveillance agencies can import or export drugs and pharmaceutical supplies.
“The suggested wording allows such importation to be carried out by any legal entity under private law, when contracting authorized private health establishments, such as hospitals, pharmacies and vaccination clinics, to import vaccines against Covid-19”, says the report.
Dalcomo on buying vaccines by companies: ‘Buying vaccines is on the order of the Federal Government’
Foreign authorities: the text allows companies to purchase not only vaccines that have authorization or registration with Anvisa, but also those vaccines authorized by foreign health agencies recognized and certified by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Fines: non-compliance with requirements can lead to fine equivalent to ten times the amount spent in purchasing vaccines.
- Dosage application: vaccines should be applied in any health establishment or service that has a room for injecting authorized by the local health surveillance service.
- Unions and cooperatives: the text also provides for the possibility of associations, unions and cooperatives purchase vaccines for distribution, administration and immunization of its members or cooperative members.
Celina Leão defended in plenary that the project is a way to mitigate the damage to the country’s economy. According to her, the text does not bring “legislative innovation”, it only removes the “legal obstacle” that requires use by the private sector after the immunization of priority groups.
“Today the law is cynical, what is a cynical law? It has been passed, we allow private individuals to buy, but it is unenforceable, it can only buy after the priority ones are immunized,” said Celina.
The author of the project, Hildo Rocha (MDB-MA) denied that the project “breaks the line” of vaccination, as the critics of the proposal argue.
“For each one that a company vaccinates, two are removed from the SUS line, two are removed from the line of the National Immunization Plan. This is what people have to understand ”, he said.
Former Minister of Health, deputy Alexandre Padilha (PT-SP) criticized the proposal and said that it removes vaccine opportunities for SUS and reserves immunizers for “those who have money to buy them”.
“This can create the absurd situation of further delaying the National Vaccination Program in our country, because the federal government, the state and municipal governments will lose the opportunity to buy these vaccines. At the same time, it will make people skip the vaccination line ”, he argues.
According to the opposition leader, Deputy Alessandro Molon (PSB-RJ), the proposal may increase the value of immunizers.
“What is missing is not government money to buy vaccines, what is missing is who provides the vaccines,” he said.
“Opening up to the private market, the price of the vaccine will rise because more people will be wanting to buy. And if the price doesn’t go up, of course, whoever pays the most will have priority in delivery. Or does anyone doubt that the laboratories will provide more quickly to those who pay more? ”, He continued.
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