Trial and error

COVID-19 vaccine trials politicized in Brazil.

The Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine trials, underway at the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, were suspended on 10 November by the Brazilian health regulator, Anvisa, following the death of a volunteer.

According to the head of the trial, the death was unrelated to the vaccine. Less than 48 hours later, the trial was restarted, resulting in an open conflict between President Bolsonaro and Joao Dória, the governor of São Paulo and potential rival of Bolsonaro in the 2022 presidential election.

Bolsonaro cheered Anvisa’s decision to halt the trial but the government of Sao Paulo, which finances Instituto Butantan’s trials, said that Anvisa’s decision was “strange”, implying that the federal government had intervened.

An advisor to the director general of Anvisa told us, “Anvisa has been put under pressure because as soon as we [Anvisa] give the green light to a vaccine, it will be able to enter the Brazilian market for distribution. However, what most people are missing is that it will be the Ministry of Health who will regulate the vaccination campaign, including how it will be carried out and who will implement it.”

“What most people are missing is that it will be the Ministry of Health who will regulate the vaccination campaign.”

Advisor to the director general of Anvisa 

The Anvisa representative added, “Experts are separated from institutional departments, which deal with demands from different administrations. Anvisa’s decisions strictly follow clinical procedures; our [Anvisa’s] decisions are based on health-first priorities and we can prove that with our technical reports.”

A correspondent at a Chinese media outlet in Brazil was clearly unimpressed, “Bolsonaro has endangered the credibility of Anvisa, which had not been questioned before. But this is Brazil’s problem, from an international business perspective, these disputes question Brazil’s market freedom.”

“Bolsonaro has endangered the credibility of Anvisa, which had not been questioned before.  

Chinese media correspondent, Brazil 

Tensions around the vaccine trials are expected to decrease following the municipal elections. However, the next battle is bound to take place in relation to the commercialisation of the vaccine in the country.

Finally, Bolsonaro has stated his opposition to mandatory vaccinations but Dória has said that, in Sao Paulo, vaccination will be mandatory. In turn, the Supreme Court, which is currently investigating the reasons behind the Sinovac suspension, said that the judiciary will have the last word on the legal obligations of vaccination.

Important Notice
While the information in this article has been prepared in good faith, no representation, warranty, assurance or undertaking (express or implied) is or will be made, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by Deheza Limited or by its officers, employees or agents in relation to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness or reasonableness of this article, or of any other information (whether written or oral), notice or document supplied or otherwise made available in connection with this article. All and any such responsibility and liability is expressly disclaimed.
This article has been delivered to interested parties for information only. Deheza Limited gives no undertaking to provide the recipient with access to any additional information or to update this article or any additional information, or to correct any inaccuracies in it which may become apparent.

Most recent in Health

Battling the Buzz

Dengue wars in Latin America.

Galloping Ahead

Argentina’s cloning industry breaks new ground.

Revolutionising pharmaceutical services 

Challenges and opportunities in the Americas. 

LatAm’s fight for a healthier tomorrow

The region's efforts to defeat Hepatitis.

Diabetes spikes

A public health crisis is emerging as diabetes runs rampant across Latin America.

Sleep on it

A recent study claims 3 in 4 Argentinians suffer from some form of sleep disturbance.

Health collapse

Chile’s private health insurance companies face bankruptcy at the hands of government legislation.

Cholera outbreak

PAHO delivers over a million cholera vaccine doses to Haiti as outbreak gathers pace.

Birth dearth

Latin America’s fertility rate continues to fall but what does this mean for the region?

Digital remedies

Digital pharmacies growing rapidly after pandemic induced change in consumer behaviour.