Life

Flu and measles vaccination campaign

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In 2016, Brazil was declared measles-free. As of 2000, there was no trace of indigenous transmission in the country. This achievement was made possible thanks to the National Vaccination Program (PNI), with which we achieved 96% vaccination coverage for the first dose of MMR (measles, rubella and mumps) in 2015.

Unfortunately, this scope was not maintained for long. With a drop of more than 20% in the application of the two doses of the MMR vaccine, the scenario was sensitive to the resurgence of diseases. And, in 2019, the first cases of what would become a measles outbreak in Brazil were recorded.

Transmission of the measles virus occurs from contact of people who are not immune to the virus with droplets of secretion and saliva from sick people when they sneeze, cough, talk or breathe nearby.

Measles is an acute, highly contagious, viral illness similar to an upper respiratory infection that can cause serious health problems and even death in children under five.

In 2020, Brazil recorded 8,448 new measles cases and ten measles-related deaths, the majority in unvaccinated children under 5 years old.

In an attempt to prevent the onset of complications resulting from the infection, avoiding deaths and pressure on the health system, the Ministry of Health launches the vaccination campaign against influenza and measles, with the objective of vaccinating 95% of children aged 6 months to 5 years. years. The objective is to return to the level considered by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as necessary to prevent new outbreaks of measles and increase vaccination coverage against influenza, which in 2021 was less than 78%. group (children, pregnant women, postpartum women, older people, indigenous peoples and health workers).

Simultaneous vaccination is an activity recommended by the PNI to reduce missed vaccination opportunities. Because, during the application of more than one vaccine in the same service, the number of trips to the health facility for the regularization of the vaccination record is reduced.

The proposal consists of the administration of two or more vaccines in different parts of the body, or by different routes, in the same day, for example: the vaccine against influenza by intramuscular route; against measles by the subcutaneous route. This simultaneous application does not increase the frequency or severity of adverse effects and does not reduce the immunogenic power that each vaccine possesses when administered alone.

In a scenario where the Darwin (H3N2) strain of influenza virus is circulating, causing more aggressive conditions, and where measles transmission continues in the country for the fifth consecutive year, the commitment of parents of children aged 6 months to 5 years to vaccination against influenza and measles is synonymous with responsible parenthood and collective safety.

It is salutary to recall the provisions of the law on children and adolescents, according to which the vaccination of children is obligatory in cases recommended by the health authorities. And if we don’t live in a society where it is common to live with serious sequelae of several vaccine-preventable diseases, such as hearing loss caused by measles, it is because the vaccination schedule has been respected.

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