In 2016, Brazil received the certification of elimination of the measles virus in the country because no case of the disease was registered. The feat was also repeated in the following year, 2017, when no cases were recorded either. However, in 2018, 10,346 measles cases were recorded and the following year this number doubled, reaching 20,901 people with the disease, according to the Ministry of Health. As a result, the country lost certification.
What these numbers show is that, when vaccines were not questioned and the majority of the population believed in them as an important instrument for maintaining health, vaccination was the best tool to contain the advance of certain diseases, and still is. That’s why a new national measles – and flu – vaccination campaign has been underway since the 4th.
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Vaccines are free and available at all health posts and basic health units. Most are open from 8 am to 5 pm. The goal is to immunize 76.5 million Brazilians who belong to the groups most vulnerable to the two infections. The doses are offered free of charge by the Unified Health System (SUS) in the 38 thousand vaccination posts spread across the country.
The objective of the campaign is to prevent complications resulting from flu and measles to prevent the circulation of viruses and the pressure on the health system resulting from preventable diseases. Last year, 668 measles cases were reported. In 2020, there were 8,448 confirmed diagnoses.
Vaccination takes place in two stages, according to priority groups. The first group is made up of people aged 60 and over and health workers, who can be vaccinated until May 2.
Between May 2 and June 3, children aged between 6 months and 5 years (up to 4 years, 11 months and 29 days) will be immunized; pregnant and postpartum women; teachers; people with chronic illnesses and permanent disabilities; Indian people; and professional categories that are most at risk, such as truck drivers and members of the security forces.
The target audience must go to the vaccination posts with an identity document with photo, CPF and, when possible, with the vaccination card.
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According to the Ministry of Health, more than 80 million doses of the flu vaccine – the trivalent Influenza – were sent to the states and the Federal District. The immunizing agent produced by the Butantan Institute is effective against strains H1N1, H3N2 and type B of the influenza virus. So far there is no provision to extend vaccination to other groups, such as older children or adults, as happened last year.
See the list of groups that can be vaccinated in the National Vaccination Campaign against Influenza and Measles:
– April 4th to May 2nd: seniors aged 60 and over (influenza); Health workers (influenza and measles).
– May 2nd to June 3rd: Children from 6 months to under 5 years old (4 years, 11 months and 29 days) (flu and measles); pregnant and postpartum women (flu); indigenous peoples (flu); teachers (flu); people with comorbidities (flu); people with permanent disabilities (flu); professionals from security and rescue forces and the Armed Forces (influenza); truck drivers and workers in urban and long-distance collective road transport for passengers (influenza); port workers (flu); prison system staff (influenza); adolescents and young people from 12 to 21 years of age under socio-educational measures (flu); population deprived of liberty (influenza).