The appointment of veterinarian Cruz was questioned by the former Secretary of Health Surveillance, Wanderson Oliveira.
“Nothing against veterinarians, but this person they put in to coordinate the National Immunization Program is a veterinarian with no experience with immunization. It is unfortunate that we are seeing this dismantling of the Health Surveillance Secretariat,” said Oliveira, quoted by the newspaper Folha De S .Paulo.
Monteiro Cruz will take the place of Marcelo Wada, also graduated in Veterinary Medicine, but with a master’s degree in collective health and who was a career employee of the Ministry of Health. He also specialized in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, in the United States, one of the largest academic references in the study of the covid-19 pandemic.
Brazil has a total of 120,828 fatalities and 3,862,311 cases of infection with the new coronavirus, being the second country in the world with the highest number of infected and killed, just behind the United States of America.
With about 212 million inhabitants and a high number of cases, the South American country is considered an ideal laboratory to test several potential vaccines, with pharmaceutical companies now looking to verify its effectiveness and safety.
Two weeks ago, the Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), an organization under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, approved the beginning of clinical trials in Brazil of a new vaccine against covid-19, the fourth to be tried in the country against the virus.
The multinational Johnson & Johnson received authorization to test its vaccine in phase three clinical trials (with thousands of people), which is already being done in Brazil with immunizers developed by the United Kingdom (AstraZeneca and Oxford University), China (Sinovac Biotech ), and by the BioNTech (Germany) and Wyeth / Pfizer (United States) consortium.
Last week, the Government of the Brazilian state of Paraná informed that it must submit to Anvisa, within the next 30 days, the validation protocol for phase three of clinical studies of the Russian vaccine in the country.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed at least 847,071 deaths and infected more than 25.2 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.