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COVID-19 vaccination in Rio going on... but slowly

Thursday, July 7th 2022 - 09:49 UTC
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Only 39.8% of those eligible in Rio de Janeiro to receive the fourth dose have shown up at vaccination points Only 39.8% of those eligible in Rio de Janeiro to receive the fourth dose have shown up at vaccination points

Rio de Janeiro city health authorities Wednesday explained vaccination against COVID-19was going on at a pace slower than they would hope for, amid reports of a growing number of cases and the appearance of more contagious variants.

Despite world events regarding the malady, many Cariocas have not shown up for their booster doses, it was explained.

Last year, 99.9% of the adult population took one dose and 99.8% received two doses or a single dose of the basic scheme. The booster injection was applied to 71.4% of the population aged 18 years or more, and only 39.8% of those eligible to receive the fourth dose, namely people aged 40 years or over, for whom the fourth became available on June 21.

There are still 20% of children between 5 and 11 years old who have not started the immunization process. In all, 111.2 thousand children in the city in this age group have not been taken to the posts to be vaccinated against COVID-19, while 138.5 thousand have already received the first dose, and 310.4 thousand have completed the two-dose scheme.

The Rio de Janeiro Municipal Health Secretariat (SMS) panels indicate an increase in the number of severe cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19in the city since the end of May. In June, 829 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized in public facilities and 159 have not been discharged yet.

Data from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation's (Fiocruz) COVID-19 Monitor confirm the return of the disease. In seven-day moving averages, the municipality of Rio de Janeiro recorded a minimum of 231 new cases on April 27 and reached zero deaths by June 7. On June 24, cases went up to 3,800 and the deaths rose to two this week.

”The Rio de Janeiro Municipal Health Secretariat (SMS-Rio) is always attentive and intensifying the actions developed by the coordinators of the various areas of the city, responsible for the management of Primary Care units. Extra vaccination posts are placed in various points of the city to facilitate access to the vaccine.”

The SMS recalled that vaccination was recommended for everyone from 5 years old. Until the age of 11, the two doses of the basic calendar must be given. Between 12 and 39 years old, a booster dose is recommended. For those 40 or older, a fourth dose is required to ensure the continuity of immunization against the severe forms of the disease.

Boosters are given four months apart. With the recommendation of an additional dose for those who initially took Janssen's single-dose vaccine, the number of doses also reaches four to complete the cycle, depending on the patient's age.

Meanwhile, the São Paulo Municipal Health Secretariat (SMS) sent a letter to the Ministry of Health requesting that the population over 35 years of age be included in the vaccination schedule with the second additional dose (DA2) against COVID-19. The estimated population of this contingent is about 1 million people.

At least 627 thousand people have not received the second booster dose against covid in the capital of São Paulo and 2.5 million people eligible for the first additional dose have not yet shown up.

”Through the basic health units (BHU), the SMS routinely conducts an active search of this population and makes available, from Monday to Sunday, including holidays, the vaccination in various posts throughout the city,“ the local authorities insisted.

”The booster dose is essential to continue protecting the population from more severe cases of COVID-19. São Paulo is the vaccine capital of the world, and this large adhesion of the population to the vaccination has shown its efficiency and importance to prevent cases of COVID-19 from worsening and leading to hospitalizations. We urge the population to look for the UBS closest to their home or work and be sure to get vaccinated,“ SP Health Secretary Luiz Carlos Zamarco argued.

São Paulo city has already applied more than 33 million doses. By July 4, a total of 2,260,434 doses had been applied as an additional second dose, covering 56.8% of the target population. Another 7,742,644 doses were applied as the first booster dose, with 81.3% vaccination coverage.

The Health Ministry insisted in a statement that the second booster dose was advised for people over 40 years old and that the Technical Advisory Chamber on Immunizations maintains discussions regarding changes and extensions of the vaccination schedule for new groups. ”After approval, the content is published through Technical Notes, according to scientific evidence on the subject and the epidemiological scenario, which are monitored daily by the Ministry of Health.”

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

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