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Minister of Justice opposes Anvisa and rejects charging vaccine to enter Brazil – 11/25/2021

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Justice and Public Safety Minister Anderson Torres said on Thursday (25) that he was against billing the Covid-19 vaccination certificate as a way to allow travelers to enter Brazil.

“It’s not necessary. It doesn’t prevent transmission of the disease,” Torres told reporters. He and health ministers Marcelo Queiroga and Civil House Ciro Nogueira are responsible for deciding border control rules in Brazil during the pandemic.

as revealed at sheet, Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) proposed to adopt the vaccination passport for those crossing the Brazilian border by land or to waive the quarantine after international flights.

The councils of state (Conass) and municipal (Conasems) secretaries of health released a statement on Thursday (25) in support of Anvisa’s proposal.

Torres said the position against billing the vaccine at borders is personal. “Nothing is decided yet,” he said.

The agency recommends combining traveler testing with vaccination as a way to prevent the spread of the virus. The proposal was made on the 12th, after Planalto questioned the regulator about Bolsonaro’s idea to reopen the borders.

In a technical note, Anvisa said studies on transmission from vaccinated people are still scarce, but said the available data “clearly indicates that vaccination remains the key strategy to control the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic,” including the spread of variants such as Delta ”.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who distorts data on the safety and efficacy of immunization agents, simply wants to open the borders, without charging for the “vaccine passport,” according to government officials.

Anvisa’s proposal would be valid to allow immigration by land. Today the borders are closed, with a few exceptions.

The agency also suggests toughening the rules for international flights. The idea is that travelers quarantine themselves for five days, even if they have a negative RT-PCR test for the new coronavirus. The quarantine would however be lifted for those who have been vaccinated.

In internal government discussions, health ministry officials backed Anvisa’s recommendation, but the Queiroga-led portfolio has yet to come up with a formal opinion on the matter.

In a note sent to Planalto, Anvisa proposes that the vaccine be applied 14 days before boarding an international flight for Brazil or crossing the land border.

The agency maintains that it follows the guidelines of countries like the United States, Canada, Chile, among others.

“The resurgence of the pandemic in European countries and the increase in cases in the United States and Canada, as well as in countries in South America, such as Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay, according to published information today by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), demand that Brazil adopt additional health measures, in order to protect its population, ”said Conass and Conasems in a statement.

Since December 2020, the government has required the presentation of the RT-PCR test, but does not require a quarantine, despite the fact that Anvisa has been offering this measure for months.

“Anvisa has repeatedly reinforced with the Interministerial Committee the importance of the quarantine or self-quarantine measure, which, if carried out in accordance with the directives of the health authorities, allows greater security for public health, by interrupting the chain of transmission of variants of the virus, which is already aimed at avoiding contact of the traveler with other sensitive people, ”Anvisa said in the technical note sent to Planalto.

Bolsonaro said on Wednesday (24) that he preferred to open the borders, but did not govern the decisions of the regulatory agency. He said he spoke to Anvisa President Antonio Barra Torres about it.

“For my part, I do not decide, I do not control Anvisa, [mas] we wouldn’t have a closed border, ”Bolsonaro said. “There is the question of the economy, of tourism, a lot of things. And the virus, I already told you, has to live with it, ”he also said.

Anvisa’s idea is to prevent the increase in recorded Covid-19 cases in Europe, among others, from also occurring in Brazil. The agency also wants to prevent the country from becoming an attraction for unvaccinated tourists.

“The lack of a billing policy for vaccination certificates may allow Brazil to become one of the countries of choice for tourists and unvaccinated travelers, which is undesirable from the point of view of the risk that this group represents for the Brazilian population and for Unity. Health system, ”Anvisa said in a note sent to Planalto.

The rules for entering Brazil by sea are more precise and there is still no authorization to carry passengers from other countries. The government only approved internal cruises.

The rules for entering Brazil during the pandemic are defined by ordinances signed by the ministers of Civil House, Health and Justice, based on Anvisa’s opinions, although the agency’s recommendations, such as the imposition of quarantine, have so far been ignored.

When contacted, Saúde only declared that “the criteria for the entry of foreigners or Brazilians from abroad into the country are developed in an integrated and inter-ministerial manner, always aiming at the safety and well-being of the Brazilian population”.

The Civil House released a statement Thursday (25) indicating that there had been no recent change in the rules on entry of travelers to Brazil. The text was published hours after Anvisa confirmed that it requested the adoption of the “passport for vaccines”.

“Possible modifications of the ordinance are being analyzed with the participation of all the authorities concerned by the question”, indicated the Civil House. “The technical opinions of all the organizations concerned are evaluated jointly, in accordance with the principles of expediency and convenience. It is only after all these analyzes that the decision will be published in a new order ”, also indicates the file.

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