December 7, 2022

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Understand what the end of the Covid emergency means in Brazil

Understand what the end of the Covid emergency means in Brazil

Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga officially declared the end of the Public Health Emergency of National Importance (ESPEN) on Friday (22)

Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga Officially end of a public health emergency of national importance (ESPN) Covid-19 on Friday (22). The measure in no way formalizes the end of the pandemic, but it does mess with a series of laws dealing with the health crisis.

Since the start of the pandemic, in 2020, the Civil House page has already added more than 660 standard laws related to Covid-19, including laws, ordinances, ordinances and resolutions. Of that total, 94 are statutes, many of which are related to the validity of ESPN.

According to Legislative Adviser to the District Health Flavio Palhano, one of the main rules that could be affected is the authorization for emergency use of vaccines, stipulated by a decision of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).

“Among the vaccinations used in the country, most vaccinations already have final registration. This is the case with the Pfizer, Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines. In the case of CoronaVac, there is permission for emergency use only. If the state of emergency is officially terminated, this authorization may stop for Being valid, but a situation that can be resolved illegally, perhaps through a new decision by Anvisa,” he explained to Agência Senado.

The Ministry of Health has already stated that it has asked Anvisa to extend the deadline for emergency use of Covid-19-related medicines and immunizations by one year after the health crisis ends. The agency indicated that the process of reviewing the decisions had already begun.

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Other laws that indicate a state of emergency that may be affected by the end of Espin are those that ban the export of medical, hospital and basic hygiene products to combat the coronavirus epidemic in Brazil (Law 13993, of 2020).

This coup has been awaited by the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) industries. To ease the fall in bills while controlling the Corona virus.

Another law that falls is the law facilitating the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19 (Law 14,124, of 2021).

For Palhano, in practice, some laws may not experience significant impacts as they deal with situations that no longer exist at present, such as a lack of registered vaccines.

This is the case of the law that allows Anvisa to allow the import and distribution of medicines and equipment against Covid-19 that have already been issued for use abroad (Law 14.006, of 2020).

There are also cases of laws referring to practices that are already standardized, such as the use of telemedicine, which is authorized under Law No. 13989 of 2020.

“It’s another case where it’s not likely to have an impact as the emergency ends because this telemedicine care system has already been established,” he says.

He also cited Law 14125 of 2021, which authorizes states, federal districts, and municipalities to assume civil liability for adverse effects after vaccination.

This authorization was a requirement of manufacturers such as Pfizer and Janssen. According to the consultant, the practical effect of Espen’s expiration on this law is that there may be legal challenges to the manufacturer, rather than the government.

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State regulations

Another concern about ending the state of emergency relates to state and municipal regulations linked to the pandemic. According to the advisor, it is very difficult to measure the effects on federal agencies because there are many laws and decrees issued based on the health emergency, which must be amended and updated. The end of the emergency could affect local public policies.

On Tuesday (19) the National Board of Health Secretaries (KUNAS) and the National Board of Municipal Health Secretaries (CNHS) sent a letter to the Ministry of Health expressing their concern about the sudden end of the emergency.

In the document, the entities asked the ministry to keep the law in place for another 90 (ninety) days and put in place “agreed transitional measures focused on mobilizing for vaccination and developing a recovery plan capable of identifying indicators and control strategies.” with integrated surveillance for respiratory syndromes”.