President Lula, from the PT party, received the dengue vaccine on February 5th, before the official campaign by the Unified Health System (SUS) started. The dose was provided by a private network, but details such as the vaccine model, cost, and laboratory name were not disclosed by the Palácio do Planalto.

Currently, there are two approved dengue vaccines in Brazil available in private clinics: Qdenga by Takeda, administered in two doses, and Dengvaxia by Sanofi, recommended for individuals aged 6 to 45 who have had dengue before. The latter requires three doses.

The SUS campaign against dengue began four days after Lula received his first dose, causing criticism due to the shortage of vaccines in public health facilities. This shortage led the Ministry of Health to limit vaccination to individuals between 10 and 14 years old.

Since starting his third presidential term, Lula has publicly received vaccines for flu and Covid to encourage immunization campaigns. However, the reason for not publicizing his dengue vaccination remains unclear, as the Secretariat of Social Communication of the Presidency did not provide an explanation.

Although the specific vaccine model received by Lula was not disclosed, based on the dose schedule and availability in private clinics, it is likely that he received the Qdenga vaccine, which has been incorporated into the SUS.

The location of Lula’s dengue vaccination was not disclosed by the Secretariat. The President also received his second dose on May 6th, with both vaccination dates only being revealed after a request from the Folha newspaper based on the Information Access Law (LAI).

The Ministry of Health’s purchased doses were still undergoing quality control analysis when Lula received his vaccinations. These vaccines were released on February 8th, and the first doses were administered by the SUS the following day.

Private clinics experienced a shortage of dengue vaccines between February and March, with Takeda selling all their Qdenga production to the SUS. The three-month interval between vaccine doses suggests that Lula received the Qdenga vaccine.

The Dengvaxia vaccine, which requires three doses with a six-month interval between each, has not been included in the public health system and is only recommended for individuals aged 6 to 45 who have previously had dengue.

Despite not being within the age range specified in the vaccine’s label, Lula’s vaccination against dengue could be considered “off-label,” meaning outside the authorized indications by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and under medical prescription.

In conclusion, Lula’s decision to receive the dengue vaccine privately before the official campaign raised questions and highlighted the challenges faced by the public health system in addressing the dengue epidemic in Brazil. The transparency and accessibility of vaccines, as well as the production and distribution challenges, remain crucial factors in combating the spread of dengue and protecting public health.