São Paulo, South America's largest city, is to begin vaccinating teenagers aged 12 to 17 after 100% of its adult population has been given at least one dose of a COVID-19 immunizer, it was announced Wednesday.
Local Paulo authorities estimate the number of adolescents to receive the drug at 42,000. They will be required to attend vaccination centers in the company of an adult, it was explained.
The City Hall also reported that, since Monday, 100% of the adult population, about 8 million people, had already received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, with the second dose to be completed by the end of October.
The only vaccine authorized for teenagers in Brazil is that of the Pfizer laboratory. There is a also request before the federal regulatory body, Anvisa, for CoronaVac to be authorized in children from three to 17 years of age.
In related developments, São Paulo Governor João Doria announced he would be allowing for the return of crowds to large scale events as of November 1, although masks shall remain mandatory at least until December 31.
After Doria's announcements, local scientists have warned about the possible dissemination of the Delta variant as a result of the lifting of all restrictions. Since Monday. there are no more attendance caps in the state's 645 municipalities. Despite those reactions, the Governor shut down the COVID-19 Contingency Center, which had 21 first-line specialists as an advisory body.
In Brazil, 50.5 million people have been immunized with two doses or a single dose, 24.4% of the population. The first dose was applied to 115.9 million people, 57.5% of the population.
Meanwhile, Brazilian health authorities were considering a third dose booster to vulnerable people.
Federal Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said the government was analyzing applying a third dose to the most vulnerable population groups, including the elderly and health care professionals, although he warned more scientific data was needed to start the booster dose.
“We plan, as soon as we have all the scientific data and we have a sufficient number of doses available, to guide a vaccination booster. This applies to all immunizers,” Queiroga said.
Brazil's Health Ministry has commissioned a study to verify the third-dose strategy in a group made up mostly of the elderly and health care workers who received the Chinese drug CoronaVac, which was the only vaccine available in January, when the campaign started.
Anvisa also authorized laboratories to carry out studies in Brazil on the operation of the third dose of Pfizer and AstraZeneca.