Brazil’s Health Ministry announced today (Jan. 21) the inclusion of COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac for kids aged six through 17 under Brazil’s national vaccination plan. The ministry has started talks on the acquisition of doses with the Butantan Institute, in charge of producing the inoculation.
The move takes place one day after the country’s national drug regulator Anvisa approved the administration of CoronaVac in children and adolescents aged six through 17. It is the second vaccine authorized by the agency, after Pfizer.
Rodrigo Cruz, the ministry’s executive secretary, reported Friday the ministry formally asked Butantan Institute the amount available for a possible purchase. The research institute replied with 7 million doses.
However, a purchase deal hinges on a survey across states. Cruz stated the ministry will assess the conditions, as 6 million doses are still available at the ministry’s stocks, in addition to 3 million stored in several states.
“We’re going to ask the states whether they want to receive CoronaVac or Pfizer and how many they have in state and municipal hospitals so that distribution can be more or less even,” said the secretary. The process should be concluded next week, Cruz declared, depending on how quickly the survey is conducted.
In a note, Butantan Institute said it may expand the production beyond the stated 7 million, should a request be made for the national immunization plan.