The paths to universal access to the Covid-19 vaccine

Experts analyze the feasibility of access by countries to immunization against the novel coronavirus and other impacts of the pandemic on the guarantee of rights

In September, the federal government announced an investment of R$2.5 billion for Brazil to join the Covax Facility – a coalition of 165 countries that plans to guarantee universal access to the vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The agreement gives the country access to at least nine vaccines being developed around the world.

The eighth issue of the Rights in the Pandemic Bulletin provides an analysis of the possible paths for countries in the pursuit of universal immunization against Covid-19, such as Covax, and addresses issues that have not yet been clarified about these agreements.

“Whatever the ‘strategy’ to be adopted, international cooperation is still the only truly global solution to this pandemic and the most promising way to ensure that people in all corners of the world have access to vaccines as soon as they become available, regardless of their wealth or geopolitical position,” explained Fernando Aith, a researcher at Cepedisa (Center for Studies and Research on Health Law) of the University of São Paulo, who contributed to this issue. 

The Bulletin is part of the project “Mapping and analysis of the legal norms for responding to Covid-19 in Brazil”, a partnership between Cepedisa and Conectas. 

Rights of elderly people

The study also highlights particular concerns about guaranteeing the rights of the elderly in the pandemic. An analysis of the regulations issued by the Brazilian authorities during the period identifies a large number of rules requiring people over the age of 60 to isolate or work from home. 

The experts note that there was no national policy in place to combat the coronavirus among the elderly by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights. “Unfortunately, the adopted measures proved insufficient to avoid cases like the ones in Santa Maria, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where 87% of the deaths were among people aged over 60,” reads the document.

Pernambuco and Paraná

The 8th issue of the Rights in the Pandemic Bulletin also includes a report of the number of rules related to the Covid-19 pandemic published by the state of Pernambuco and Paraná until June 30, 2020. Pernambuco published 227 rules, among them orders (63), decrees (47), laws (11) and resolutions (135). Paraná, meanwhile, published 285 rules, including orders (123), decrees (68), laws (7) and resolutions (25).

The publication also updates the number of rules related to Covid-19 issued by the federal government: 2,488 between January and October 15, 2020. Of these, 59 were provisional measures.

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