Brazil backs booster Covid shots for immunosuppressed and older citizens

Brazil has announced it will roll out a Covid-19 booster scheme in mid-September for immunosuppressed people, as well as citizens over 70, to enhance inoculation protection as the more contagious Delta variant spreads.

Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga unveiled plans on Tuesday to administer a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid shot to Brazil’s high-risk groups, including people who have recently had a transplant, cancer, sufferers of severe burns, and citizens aged 70 and older.

The booster shots will be rolled out from September 15, as per calculations from Brazil’s Health Ministry that the entire adult population will have already received at least their first dose of Pfizer by that date. Citizens eligible for the booster scheme must have received their second shot at least six months prior to getting a third.

The move comes amid concerns over the highly contagious Delta variant and the need to boost immunity for those at greater risk from the virus, according to Queiroga.

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Brazil has so far administered over 179.7 million Covid vaccine doses across its almost 124-million population. The tally for second doses administered stands at 55.7 million, equating to just over a quarter of the country being fully inoculated.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 12 greenlighted an additional dose of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for people in America with compromised immune systems. Several nations, including Israel and Hungary, have already begun offering third doses, even without receiving the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency.

Brazil is currently observing a decline in Covid-19 cases, but retains the world’s second-highest cumulative caseload at around 20.6 million reported infections throughout the pandemic. Over 575,000 people in the South American country have succumbed to the disease to date.

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Source:RT World News

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