By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The 90% drop in the number of cases and deaths by Covid-19 with the advance of the largest vaccination campaign in the history of Brazil, the strength of the Unified Health System (SUS) in combating the pandemic, the focus on Primary Care and International cooperation to defeat the pandemic were some of the themes addressed by the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, during the conference “Brazil’s actions in confronting Covid-19” in Portugal.

Public domain image courtesy of Lisa Ferdinando, U.S. Department of Defense

With more than 320 million doses distributed and 87% of the 177 million Brazilians who are part of the target audience vaccinated with the first dose, the minister spoke about Brazil’s strategy for the acquisition of vaccines, which involved international partnerships for development of the immunizing agents. In 2021, the federal government ordered more than 550 million vaccines, enough to immunize the entire Brazilian population with the two doses.

“In relation to our vaccination campaign, it is good to make a note here: the efforts to immunize the Brazilian population are not only from the year 2021. They started in May 2020, through a technological order made by the pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca, in partnership with the University of Oxford, which developed the Astrazeneca vaccine. Brazil allocated around R$ 2 billion for this technological order and today it is already possible to produce vaccines with an active pharmaceutical ingredient produced at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation,” stated Queiroga.

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This week, thanks to the technology transfer agreement, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) sent the first batches of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (IFA) produced in Brazil for testing in the United States. The inputs have already been approved in the first analyzes and it is another important step towards Brazil’s self-sufficiency in the production of vaccines.

The strength of the SUS in combating the pandemic was constantly reinforced by Queiroga during the international agenda, showing the example of Brazil, which has one of the largest public health systems in the world. SUS guarantees universal, full and free access for all. According to IBGE, more than 150 million Brazilians depend exclusively on public health. In addition to the low, medium and high complexity care, SUS also guaranteed Covid-19 vaccines free of charge and the results of the vaccination campaign appear every day to improve the epidemiological scenario.

“In this seven-month period in which I am at the head of the Ministry of Health, we had a reduction of 90% of cases and 90% of deaths. This is not an action of this minister, it is an action of the Unified Health System”, defended Queiroga.

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