The arrival of the flu season is a complicating factor for the national campaign to confront Covid-19. In addition to generating situations of co-infections – due to more than one virus, the prevention of common influenza itself, through vaccination, compromises the Brazilian capacity to produce immunizers against covid-19.
To meet the schedule of delivery of flu vaccines to the Ministry of Health, the Butantan Institute already knows that it will use only one of its production lines, in April, to manufacture Coronavac. Delivery of the Chinese immunizer will drop from 22.3 million doses in March to 10 million in April.
Starting next week, the population will be asked to vaccinate against the flu and instructed to maintain a 14-day interval between the immunizer and any of the doses of vaccine against covid-19. The guidance has already been issued by Conass (National Council of State Health Secretaries). The campaign starts on the 12th. The application of vaccines against common flu also complies with priority criteria and is recommended by health authorities, including to avoid aggravating the pandemic.
Butantan will finalize on April 30 the first contract with the Ministry of Health, for the delivery of 46 million doses of Coronavac. And it still depends on inputs imported from China to complete the task. The forecast is that the raw material for this will arrive in Brazil this week. In order to comply with the second contract signed with the federal government, which foresees the manufacture of over 54 million doses, Butantan also depends entirely on the delivery of inputs from China, a country pressured by domestic and global demand for the components.
This scenario will take the minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, today to a meeting with the Chinese ambassador to Brazil, Yang Wanming. Diplomatic representation, however, has little to do in the face of the arrangements previously made by China with other countries. Almost 80% of vaccines applied in Brazilians are Coronavac, manufactured by Butantan, with inputs imported from China. The federal authorities expect to receive 18 million doses of vaccines from Oxford in April, as promised by the Fiocruz Institute.
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