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Over 57 thousand kids said to have taken wrong COVID-19 shot in Brazil

20 January 2022 20:44

BRASILIA. KAZINFORM During Brazil’s immunization campaign against COVID-19, 57,147 children and adolescents across the country have been administered adult doses not authorized for application in people under 18 by the country’s national drug regulator Anvisa. Errors have been detected in all Brazilian states.

The figures can be found in a report submitted Tuesday (Jan. 18) to Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski by Brazil’s Attorney-General Bruno Bianco. The numbers, he said, were taken from the National Health Data Network, where states and cities must keep the information from every vaccination card up to date, AgenciaBrasil reports.

The country’s Health Ministry, Bianco went on, sent two letters to the states in September and November last year questioning the data regarding the application of unauthorized vaccines in people younger than 18 and also whether any inaccuracies could be fixed. No reply was given.

Bianco asked Lewandowski to issue a preliminary injunction ordering states and municipalities to interrupt any vaccination campaigns not in compliance with the official guidelines.

Even though the data in the National Health Data Network needs further inspecting, Bianco argues, the figures already provide sufficient sign to warrant a preliminary injunction, as «they may come to reveal serious neglect in the application of vaccines.»

Bianco also requests that Lewandowski order states and municipalities to identify all children and adolescents who received the wrong shots, so they can be brought under surveillance for adverse effects. The procedure is a recommendation from Anvisa.

Age groups

As per a chart from the National Health Data Network, included in Bianco’s document, 2.4 thousand kids aged up to four have been vaccinated against COVID-19, even though the immunization within this group has not been fostered by Anvisa or Brazil’s National Immunization Plan.

Furthermore, 4.4 thousand children aged five through 11 are said to have received inoculation from producers other than Pfizer/BioNtech—the only approved by Anvisa for this group.

The chart also shows the application of Pfizer shots—in their adult version—in 18.8 thousand 5–11-year-olds in place of the appropriate authorized inoculation, whose doses did not arrive in the country until this year.

In the case of teenagers aged 12 through 17, 19.3 thousand were given doses from manufacturers that were not authorized by Anvisa for application in this age group—AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Janssen.

Among the most severe cases, Brazil’s attorney-general named the application of adult Pfizer doses out of their expiry dates in 49 children in the city of Lucena, Paraíba state. The Health Ministry is reported to be investigated the case before criminal charges may be filed.


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