According to a study released Friday, the number of Brazilian children aged between 6 months and 5 years old who have taken at least two doses of Covid-19 vaccine has gone down, Agencia Brasil reported.
The Observa Infância bulletin from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the Arthur de Sá Earp Neto University Center (Unifase), from the Petrópolis School of Medicine showed that only 11.4% of children aged between 6 months and 5 years were injected with at least two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Researcher Cristiano Boccolini said these figures were worrying since only 2.9% of babies aged 6 months to 2 years had been treated with these drugs.
Boccolini said several factors contributed to these results. He mentioned the delay in purchasing vaccines, false information that children do not suffer from the severe form of Covid-19, and the belief that there is
a lack of safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
According to recent epidemiological data, Brazil recorded 80 deaths of children up to 4 years old between January 1 and July 11, 2023. Of this total, 23 were between 1 and 4 years old, which represents an average of approximately 1 death per week in this age group. In the same interval, there were 2,764 hospitalizations due to the disease, of which 994 involved children aged 1 to 4 years. This means a weekly average of 38 hospitalizations for this age group, the researchers said.
Unifase's Patrícia Boccolini recalled that vaccines were available in the Unified Health System (SUS) nationwide for the entire population and suggested healthcare units took advantage of children showing up for the regular vaccination schedule to also apply the drug against Covid-19.
Boccolini also recommended expanding the hours of health posts and installing mobile vaccination points, such as in subways and shopping malls.
As a way to expand vaccination in this age group, Observa Infância coordinators advocate conducting campaigns aimed at the age group up to 5 years to expand access to qualified information and facilitate understanding of data obtained from national information systems.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)