Federal Government sends doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Brazilian indigenous communities
The Ministry of Health, through the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI), estimates to vaccinate more than 410,000 indigenous and 20,000 indigenous health professionals against COVID-19 throughout Brazil. The immunization takes place in approximately 6 thousand villages in the 34 Special Indigenous Sanitary Districts (DSEI) of the country and also includes the specificities of ADPF 709. The first doses of the vaccine start arriving in indigenous areas simultaneously on Tuesday, January 19.
The Federal Government acquired the first six million doses of the vaccine, produced by Sinovac Laboratory in partnership with the Butantan Institute, to initially immunize the priority group against COVID-19, including the indigenous people. "According to the Federal Government´s plans for immunization of the Brazilian population, the indigenous are the priority population. Vaccination is voluntary, i.e., it is not mandatory and is aimed at indigenous people over 18 years of age," explains SESAI´s Secretary Robson Santos da Silva.
The Armed Forces are also partners in this action. "The Ministry of Defense will fulfill command and control, security and logistics missions in support to SESAI mainly by taking support to isolated communities with our aircrafts," says the Secretary of Personnel, Education, Health and Sports of the Ministry of Defense, General Manuel Luiz Pafiadache.
According to the SESAI survey, Brazil has approximately 755 thousand indigenous people under the responsibility of SasiSUS. Of these, 410 thousand are over 18 years old and will be immunized in this first lot. The health professionals of the Multidisciplinary Indigenous Health Teams of the 34 DSEI will also be vaccinated. The doses also include the indigenous people supported by ADPF 709.
The first case of COVID-19 in an indigenous area of the country was registered in April 2020, in the DSEI Alto Rio Solimões. The District has the second largest indigenous population in Brazil with approximately 70,000 indigenous of 27 ethnic groups, distributed in 236 villages. Therefore, the village Umariaçu I was chosen by SESAI to start the immunization campaign against COVID-19.