Congress enacts law allowing federal government to donate Covid vaccines

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The National Congress enacted, this Friday (20), the law that authorizes the federal government to donate vaccines against Covid-19 to other countries affected by the pandemic.

The enactment, signed by the President of Congress, Senator Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), indicates that donations will be made by the Executive Branch, intermediated by the Ministry of Health.

The folder, headed by Minister Marcelo Queiroga, will be responsible for defining how many immunizers will be donated and to whom they will be sent. The Itamaraty must be consulted during this decision process.

“Expenses arising from the transport of immunizers will be borne by the recipient country of the donation or by budget allocations from the federal government or other collaborators”, states the law.

According to the law, the donation will depend on the expression of interest of the country that will receive the doses, and on the “consent of receiving the immunizer by the beneficiary country”.

“The donations referred to in this Law will not harm the vaccination of the Brazilian population, under the terms established in the National Plan for the Operationalization of Vaccination against Covid-19 of the Ministry of Health”, states the law.

Senate and House approval

On the 12th, the Federal Senate approved the provisional measure for international humanitarian cooperation.

For Senator Vanderlan Cardoso, rapporteur of the matter, there will be no harm to Brazil with these donations, even more with the limited access of other countries to these immunizing agents.

“The urgency and relevance of the MPV stem from the fact that the lack of fair and equitable access to vaccines against Covid-19 makes it difficult to overcome the global pandemic scenario and the resulting crises, as well as favoring the emergence of new variants of the new coronavirus. ”, justified in the report

Expenses with the transport of immunizers must be financed by the country that will receive the donations, through budget allocations from the federal government or other collaborators, it establishes.

The rapporteur rejected a suggestion for an amendment that required the Union to publish information on the countries benefiting from vaccines on the internet.

For him, this is already a role of public administration. “Despite the relevance of the initiative, it is important to remember that transparency and publicity are principles already covered by the rules that govern Public Administration in Brazil, and their inclusion is, in our view, unnecessary”, he concluded.

In a previous demonstration, the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs agreed that it is important to expand global access to vaccines against Covid-19 to combat the pandemic.

The folders highlighted that sufficient doses have already been distributed for the vaccination of all groups initially provided for in the national vaccination plan, as well as booster doses for the population over 18 years of age.

Thus, they considered that Brazil would be able to collaborate with immunization in countries still with low vaccination coverage.

The approval in the Chamber of Deputies took place on the 3rd of this month.

“The donation of immunizers will be guided by humanitarian reasons and based on epidemiological criteria, such as the low vaccination coverage of the beneficiary country, the viral transmission rates in the region, the impossibility of acquiring doses, among other aspects that need to be evaluated if the case and when Brazil has vaccines available for donation”, declared the rapporteur of the Provisional Measure, federal deputy Paulo Bengtson (PTB-PA).

One of the proposed changes to the Provisional Measure rejected by the rapporteur established mandatory transparency regarding data on beneficiary countries, the quantity of doses donated and other information necessary to ensure compliance with the National Vaccination Operational Plan.

The provisional measure was presented by the Executive in December last year.

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Source: CNN Brasil

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