Brazil Cuts Vaccine Doses as Health System Under Pressure

Friday, January 8, 2016

Brazil has cut the number of doses for vaccinations given by the public health service to counter human papillomavirus (HPV) and pneumonia, as Latin America’s largest economy looks to reduce health costs in the midst of a deep recession.

In a statement late Tuesday, the Health Ministry said the changes were “routine” and would not alter the efficacy of the vaccinations but also noted the cost of the national program had risen 140 percent over the past five years.

In 2015, the cost of distributing nearly 300 million immunobiologicals, such as vaccines, totaled 2.9 billion reais ($720 million), the ministry said.

Sources familiar with the matter said Brazil has been reducing imports of vaccines over the past year, resulting in diminishing stocks.

The ministry did not say how much money would be saved by reducing the number of doses.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

Health Care