SÃO PAULO – Only 39% of the elderly took the vaccine against influenza (common flu) in Brazil, according to the most recent balance sheet by the Ministry of Health. This means that of the approximately 30.2 million Brazilians over 60 years of age, 11.9 million have already received the injection. The older ones are among the first groups entitled to receive protection under the national campaign calendar, which began on April 4 across the country. In the State of São Paulo, the rate is 45.1%.
THE campaign started initially for seniors over 60 and healthcare workers. Some states and cities anticipated immunization, such as the capital of São Paulo, which began the application on March 27 with the application of the dose in the elderly over 80 years. In recent weeks, given the increase in infections by the Covid-19, Brazil has registered an increase in respiratory diseases. Specialists, therefore, recommend protection for the most vulnerable groups as a way to avoid aggravation and unnecessary trips to the hospital.
The second group is the infant group: from babies aged 6 months to children up to 5 years old, pregnant and postpartum women (women in the first weeks after childbirth). Among children, the rate of protected children is no more than a third. Of the 43.1 million eligible children, only 14.3 million received the vaccine.
Since May 9, the vaccine has been applied to indigenous people, quilombolas, education professionals, people with disabilities and people with comorbidities such as diabetes and cancer.
In the State of São Paulo, so far, only 357,400 doses have been administered to children (13.5% of vaccination coverage), 24,700 to pregnant women (6%), 535,800 to health professionals (34 .5%), 3.6 thousand in postpartum women (5.3%) and 4.1 million in the elderly (45.1%).
The state government’s goal is to immunize 90% of all eligible groups and, so far, only 40% of the total has been immunized. Also according to the State Department of Health, less than 20% of children, pregnant and postpartum women were immunized.
“It is essential that priority groups look for vaccination posts to take a dose of the flu vaccine. With lower temperatures, influenza can evolve into more serious cases, so it is essential that everyone attends the posts to be vaccinated”, said the director of Immunization of the São Paulo Health Department, Nubia Araújo. The São Paulo City Hall says that coverage among the elderly is 47.9%.
The last stage of vaccination in the State is scheduled to begin on May 16, when professionals from the security and rescue forces, Armed Forces, prison system employees, truck drivers, workers in urban and long-distance collective road transport will be part of the campaign. course, port workers, the population deprived of liberty and adolescents and young people under socio-educational measures.
Until June 3, the ministry plans to immunize, across the country, about 77.9 million people in the groups considered priority – only 22.4% of the eligible public has been immunized so far.
The vaccine provided by the Unified Health System (SUS) is the trivalent – composed of the H1N1 virus, the B lineage (Victoria) and also the Darwin strain of the influenza A (H3N2) virus. That is, the new immunizers are adapted to the strain that caused an outbreak of cases in Brazil in late 2021.
Vaccination in the public network aims to immunize the most at risk groups that represent about 70% of deaths from the disease. Last year, the Influenza vaccination campaign started in April and lasted until September because of low adherence. The balance was 72.1% of the target audience vaccinated, but the federal government’s goal was to have 90% of the priority group immunized.
In São Paulo, vaccination for eligible groups is available at all Basic Health Units (UBSs), Outpatient Medical Assistance (AMAs)/Integrated UBSs, drive-thrus and megaposts. More information and a list of stations can be found. found here.
Since the end of March, the private clinics in São Paulo also carry out the flu campaign. Some units even make appointments for home application. In the private network, the immunization applied is tetravalent – composed of the H1N1 viruses, the B lineage (Victoria), the B lineage (Yamagata) and also the Darwin strain of the influenza A (H3N2) virus. Prices range from R$130 to R$160 per application.
Check the national calendar on the public network:
First stage – between April 4th and May 2nd – but immunization continues
- Seniors aged 60 years and over
- health workers
Second stage – between May 3rd and June 3rd
- Children from 6 months to under 5 years old (4 years, 11 months and 29 days)
- Pregnant women and puerperal women
- Indian people
- education professionals
- People with comorbidities (Carriers of chronic respiratory diseases, chronic heart diseases, chronic kidney diseases, chronic liver diseases, chronic neurological diseases, diabetes, immunosuppression, obese, transplant patients and people with trisomies, for example Down Syndrome)
- People with permanent disabilities
- Security and Rescue Forces and Armed Forces
- Truck drivers and workers in urban and long-distance collective road transport for passengers
- port workers
- Prison system officials
- Adolescents and young people from 12 to 21 years of age under socio-educational measures
- population deprived of liberty