The director of the Pan American Health Organization, Carissa Etienne, reacted to the court ruling that suspended vaccination against covid-19 in children under 13 years of age in Uruguay and maintained that it is “safe and effective”.
Last week, after learning of the ruling, the Minister of Public Health, Daniel Salinas, informed PAHO and expressed his concern about the situation, since it could “promote a scenario of health risk for vulnerable groups.” On this point, Etienne recalled the recommendation of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization of the World Health Organization (WHO) that stipulates that the Pfizer-BioNTech messenger RNA vaccine is “safe and effective for all people over 5 years”.
According to the director of PAHO, “the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been included in the WHO Emergency Use List” which is “a risk-based procedure for evaluating and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics, and in vitro diagnostics with the ultimate goal of accelerating the availability of these products to people affected by a public health emergency such as the one still facing ”.
As Etienne explained in his response to Salinas, this “allows PAHO/WHO Member States and their National Regulatory Agencies to formulate their sovereign health policies and can expedite regulatory clearance to import and administer vaccines against covid-19.”
In addition, he warned thatthe non-use of safe and effective vaccines in children can generate profound inequity and deprivation of the human right to health”.
“The right to health is without a doubt essential for the well-being and wealth of nations, which is protected by the international treaties to which Uruguay is a party”, he pointed out and maintained that “the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports this claim”.