posted on 03/04/2021 06:00
(credit: Ed Alves / CB / DA Press)
The overestimated picture of vaccination against covid-19 for April, passed by the Ministry of Health, begins to adapt to reality and, because of that, the projection of arrival of new immunizers has already halved. As soon as the month started and the folder updated the schedule of doses, announcing a 46% drop in deliveries: it went from 47.3 million to 25.5 million injections. The extremely optimistic figures given by the federal government show that, between the contracting of drugs at the laboratories and their effective distribution, the distance has been immense.
Problems in Covishield’s production by Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), veto to Bharat Biotech – manufacturer of Covaxin – by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and the fact that Sputnik V does not yet have authorization for emergency use frustrate the numbers estimated by federal government – which included them in its quantitative. Without detailing the quantity of deliveries from each laboratory for April, the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, followed his predecessor, Eduardo Pazuello, by making the picture of delivery of immunizations this month unclear:
“The forecast is for 25.5 million doses. There is a delay in the delivery of two main national industries: Butantan and Fiocruz (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz). The issue of Bharat, an Indian vaccine, Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) suspended the plant ”, he justified, in a hearing in the Senate.
In technical analysis, Anvisa’s board not only disapproved Bharat’s good practice documents, but also disallowed the import of doses that had previously been produced so far, frustrating the arrival of 20 million injections: 8 million expected for March and others 8 million for April. Although another 225 liters of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (IFA) arrived yesterday, enough to produce 5.3 million doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, the Institute of Technology in Immunobiologicals (Bio-Manguinhos) reduced April deliveries , from 21.1 million to 18 million. The reason is linked to a complication in one of the filling machines, which delayed the process.
With the raw material that is in the country, the foundation guarantees 35 million doses to be delivered to the National Immunization Program (PNI). But so far, 8.1 million doses of the Covishield vaccine have been passed on, with 4 million doses imported from India and 4.1 million produced until yesterday.
The Butantan Institute’s problem is the delivery of more IFA. Even forecasting 15.7 million units for the month, the institution said that, so far, it only has enough to release another 4.5 million in April. In other words, once again, machines can stop waiting for new Chinese releases.
In the account of the doses expected for March, there are still 400 thousand units of Sputnik V, a Russian immunizer whose documentation only started to be analyzed by Anvisa a few days ago. União Química, responsible for manufacturing in Brazil, has filed a new process to achieve inclusion in the National Immunization Program (PNI) on an urgent and temporary basis – but the process is suspended, awaiting completion of documents.
The agency, however, granted a certificate of good practice to União Química, indicating the opening of the way for the approval of emergency use. The pharmaceutical company is the first to produce a vaccine from scratch in national territory, having presented, this week, the pilot batch of the IFA. The company plans to achieve national production this month, in addition to the 20 million doses agreed with the federal government.
Even with contracts closed with Pfizer and Janssen, the first doses of the two laboratories are not expected for this month. In an attempt to speed up deliveries and maintain the pace of vaccination, with the goal of reaching 1 million daily applications, Minister Marcelo Queiroga promises to intensify international dealings. “It is not simple, but we are committed to using all the weapons we have,” he assured the senators.
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