Brazil's Health Ministry has launched a new nationwide vaccination campaign against poliomyelitis and other maladies, it was reported. Attending Saturday's ceremony marking the beginning of the new effort was Minister Marcelo Queiroga.
According to the authorities, less than half of the target population has been immunized against polio. Parents and guardians were urged to vaccinate children under 5 five years old against the virus that causes infantile paralysis and to give booster doses to children and adolescents under 15 years old.
We have a great challenge, not to allow poliomyelitis to be reintroduced in Brazil, said Queiroga.
We have 15 million children to vaccinate and we need you to help us so that we can bring their parents and grandparents to vaccinate at least 95% of these children, he explained.
The last recorded case of polio was in 1989, in the city of Sousa, in Paraíba. The minister recalled that the National Immunization Program makes available more than 22 vaccines for the Brazilian population against several diseases.
According to the Health Ministry, the target audience comprises 14.3 million children under five years old, and children under one year old should be immunized according to the vaccination status for the primary scheme.
Children between one and four years old should take one dose of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), popularly known as gotinha (little drop), provided they have already received three doses of Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) of the basic scheme. So far, about six million doses have been applied in Brazil.
Since 2016, polio vaccination coverage has been below 95%, the rate recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Last year, less than 70% of children were vaccinated, according to DataSUS.
In addition to the mobilization against polio, the event in Brasília will also include free blood pressure checks, diabetes tests, and integrative practices, as well as free medical assistance and referrals.
The event also marks the 32 years of implementation of the Unified Health System (SUS), conceived by the 1988 Constitution.
In his speech, Queiroga addressed the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil. The unity of everyone made it possible for us to overcome this public health emergency. Today, the moving average of deaths is less than 70 cases per day. In other words, we live in a more controlled epidemiological scenario, he stressed.
About monkeypox, the minister said that SUS managed to structure a network with more than 15 laboratories able to make the diagnosis, besides the acquisition of medicines. Soon the vaccines will arrive, all this is a result of SUS, he said.
He also mentioned the expansion of the health surveillance system, since the beginning of the pandemic. Our health surveillance structure has tripled. There were 55 CIEVs [Center for Strategic Health Information] and today there are 164, many of which are in border regions, Queiroga argued.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)