The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) approved the emergency use of two Pfizer bivalent vaccines against Covid-19, which include sublines of the Ômicron variant, on Tuesday (22). According to Anvisa, immunizers should be used as booster doses against the disease.
On Tuesday night, Pfizer released a note in which it states that the updated vaccines should be delivered to Brazil in the coming weeks 🇧🇷
“We emphasize that the original monovalent vaccine is still available for immediate use at health centers and continues to be an important instrument in the fight against Covid-19, either as a primary scheme, as well as a booster dose. Pfizer’s current contract for supplying vaccines to the country includes the delivery of potential vaccines adapted to new variants and/or for different age groups”, says Pfizer.
THE CNN consulted the Ministry of Health about deadlines for the arrival of bivalent vaccines in the country and availability at health posts. In a note, the ministry stated that “it will ask the laboratory for the schedule for sending the batches with the new immunizers, considering that the current contract of the portfolio with suppliers includes the delivery of vaccines with updated strains”.
According to the ministry, the immunization strategy with bivalent vaccines, as well as the groups that will be prioritized, are in the process of being defined by the National Immunization Program (PNI). “The guidelines for the application of the vaccine and the distribution schedule will be formalized in a technical note to the states in the coming days”, he said.
The Ministry of Health also highlighted that current vaccines remain effective against severe forms of the disease and deaths. “The complete vaccination schedule, including booster doses, is essential for continuity of vaccination actions in 2023”, says the note.
Understand the booster dose schedule
Scientific studies point out that the body increases the immune response against the coronavirus through booster doses against the disease. The application of booster doses in the country follows guidance from the Ministry of Health.
Currently, the first booster dose for those who started the vaccination schedule with AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Coronavac is recommended for people over 12 years of age and should be administered four months after the second application. The second, at the moment, is recommended by the Ministry of Health for the population over 40 years of age and health workers regardless of age and should be administered four months after the first booster dose.
For those who started the vaccination schedule with the single application of Janssen, the recommendation is a booster given two months after starting the vaccination schedule; and the other two that must comply with the four-month interval between one and the other. For the immunocompromised population aged 12 to 39 years, who started the vaccination schedule with AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Coronavac, a booster dose is recommended four months after the additional one.
For immunocompromised individuals who started the vaccination schedule with Janssen, two booster applications are indicated after the additional dose, with an interval of four months between them. Recommended booster vaccines are those from Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Janssen — these can be used for people aged 18 years or older. For adolescents between 12 and 17 years old, the Pfizer vaccine should preferably be used. If it is not available, the Coronavac vaccine can be used in the booster dose, according to the ministry.
Data from the National Immunization Program (PNI) show that 69 million people are in arrears with their first complementary dose. The Ministry of Health points out that studies have been carried out that demonstrate that the body’s ability to respond, called immunogenicity, after the application of alternate immunization boosters is adequate.
Source: CNN Brasil