The chair of the Covid-19 Interim Committee, Confúcio Moura (MDB-RO), on Monday (24) together with the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Marcos Pontes, made the commitment to work on increasing the volume’s budget from 2022.
During a commission hearing on Monday, Commission Vice President Styvenson Valentim (Pode-RN) indicated that the country is currently investing only around 1% of GDP in this area.
In response to the senator, Pontes stressed that public investment has been declining since 2013, so investment in science “may be even less than 1%”. A small percentage, compared to countries like South Korea and Israel, where investment in science ranges between 4% to 5% of GDP, or countries like the United States, “where giants like Pfizer invest billions of dollars in a single vaccine, as in the fight against Covid – 19 “.
The commission’s rapporteur, Senator Wellington Fugunds (PL-MT), noted that the reserve for the Pouch in 2021 had reached an historic low, and said that he had “had difficulty understanding the systematic decline in the budget of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Trade”. For him, it is ironic that in a severe pandemic scenario with a strong negative economic impact, the state chooses to cut investments in science, “which is very essential for us to foster independence even in a vaccination strategy and a full economic recovery.”
MCTI’s Minister of Research and Scientific Training, Marcelo Morales, strengthened the Wellington Fagonds prognosis. For Morales, Covid-19 is “here to stay” and annual vaccinations against the disease will likely be required. He explained that the matter only reinforces the state’s need to control the entire vaccine development process, from manufacturing to packaging.
Marcos Pontes noted that Brazil has so far invested about 400 million Brazilian reals (about 70 million US dollars) in developing its own vaccines, all of which are still in the clinical testing phase. “In other words, we can, with a much smaller investment than Pfizer, for example, achieve a state of technological supremacy in the fight against COVID-19,” the minister said, which in his opinion is evidence that the country should increase these investments.
Wellington Fagunds informed that in his Friday (21) meeting with the Minister of Health, Marcelo Quiroga, the Minister publicly assumed his commitment to purchasing all domestic production of vaccines, providing safety for companies participating in this research, both public and private. The senator also called for special attention from the MCTI to the possibility of using the Brazilian veterinary vaccination structure in the domestic production of vaccines against covid-19. In response, Pontes emphasized that the portfolio is interested in this process, which he sees as a real possibility of survival.
During the meeting, Marcus Pontes asked the senators for his support in approving the Polish zloty 6/2021, Which launches an additional 415 million Brazilian reals for investments in the Brazilian vaccine. A vote on the project is due by the National Congress on Wednesday (26).
The minister also requested his support for PL 1.208 / 2021The analysis is in the room that develops strategies for increasing private investment in science.
Senator Zinedid Maya (Bruce-RN) has requested that the preservative give priority to the Botan Vaccine, a vaccine developed by the Botantan Institute, which is also in the testing phase.
Agência Senado (Reproduction permitted with a quote from Agência Senado)