Recently, the residents of Joinville (SC) realized that their social networks were not the same as those of people in the rest of the country. Even after a year of waiting for a Covid-19 vaccine, people in the county weren’t posting photos commemorating the long-awaited moment.
Mystery? The explanation is simple: the city hall decided that the immunizing agent would be applied to the buttocks, not the arms, as has been more common in Brazil and worldwide.
But that didn’t make it impossible to take a photo of the application. Alex Sander Magdyel, 27, captured the moment when his girlfriend received the immunizing agent and posted it on a social network.
Before it was his turn to be immunized, the parliamentary advisor took the parents to receive the injection and, upon arriving at the vaccination post, the three were surprised with the application site. But neither he nor his parents were embarrassed.
“It seems that the only people in Joinville who have a photo are me, my father, my mother and my girlfriend”, he says.
His girlfriend, Laura Braz, 25, was also informed that the application would not be applied to her arm when she went to the clinic last Friday (20th). But it didn’t matter. “I would go even if I was going to receive a vaccine on my forehead”, he says, joking.
The moment was the most anticipated event for her and her family since the beginning of the pandemic. That’s why the doctoral student at UFRS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) made a point of posting the photo. Some people were surprised.
“People were surprised. People kept saying that they took it in the arm, that their relatives had taken it in the arm. But here it is standard, everyone is taking it in the buttocks”, he says.
The recommendation of the Ministry of Health is that the application be done intramuscularly, in the deltoid muscle, which is in the arm. If there is any impediment or specificity, the paste allows application to the vastus lateralis muscle of the thigh and, finally, it indicates the ventrogluteal region, which is located in the buttocks.
Renato Kfouri, pediatric infectologist and secretary of the SBIm (Brazilian Society of Immunizations), says that today the vast majority of vaccines are applied to the arm, as studies have indicated a lower antibody response when the immunizing agents are applied to the buttocks. He claims, however, that there are no studies that demonstrate lesser efficacy of the vaccine for being applied in this region.
“Practically all studies and licensing are done only in the arm and, when it’s a child, [a aplicação] it’s on the leg, on the thigh. And vaccines are packaged in the package insert recommending the application of a deltoid in the arm. With Covid, there is no demonstration that it has lesser efficacy, but with all vaccines, this is already a constant today”, he says.
In a video posted on the Facebook profile of Joinville City Hall, Fabiana Fernandes de Almeida, nurse and health surveillance manager, says that the municipality chose to apply the vaccine in the buttocks because the region is less painful and causes fewer local reactions. In addition, the nurse says that the ventrogluteal application of any immunizing agent is already routine in the city.