With the arrival of summer when the occurrence of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as yellow fever increase, the Brazilian Ministry of Health is alerting the population to get vaccinated against the disease.
The alert is mainly focused on the population that lives in the South and Southeast regions of the country due to the confirmation of 38 monkey deaths in the states of Paraná (34), São Paulo (3) and Santa Catarina (1). In total, 1,087 reports of suspected monkey deaths were recorded in the country.
The alert is given because the regions have a large population and a low number of people vaccinated, which directly contributes to the cases of the disease.
The target public for vaccination is people from nine months of age and 59 years of age who do not have proof of vaccination.
Regarding human cases, 327 suspected yellow fever cases were reported in the same period, of which 50 remain under investigation and one has been confirmed.
The yellow fever vaccine is offered in the National Vaccination Calendar and distributed monthly to the states. In 2019, more than 16 million doses of the yellow fever vaccine were distributed throughout the country. Despite this availability, there is a low demand from the population for vaccination. For 2020, the portfolio acquired 71 million doses of the vaccine, enough to serve the country for more than three years.
In 2020, the Ministry of Health will gradually expand yellow fever vaccination to 1,101 municipalities in the Northeast states that were not yet part of the vaccination recommendation area. Thus, the whole country now has the vaccine against yellow fever in the routine of services.
Another change in the calendar was that the children started to have a booster vaccine at the age of four. The decision came because recent scientific studies have shown a decrease in the child’s immune response, which is vaccinated very early, at 9 months, as predicted in the child’s National Vaccination Calendar. Since 2017, the Ministry of Health has followed the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) to offer only one dose of the yellow fever vaccine in a lifetime.
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