The new coronavirus pandemic caused the death of more than six million people around the world, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). The expectation is that in the coming years, new pandemics, epidemics and endemics will happen, and the drop in immunization at a global level is one of the factors that contribute to this scenario.
Recently, a report published by the WHO and the United Nations Children’s International Emergency Fund (Unicef) pointed out that 2021 marked the biggest drop in vaccine coverage sustained from the last three decades.
Although institutions attribute the drop to the increase in the number of children living in conflict areas and places where access to vaccination is limited, to growing disinformation and to the pandemic, the numbers fall more with each passing year and the negative result is not is exclusive to the pandemic period.
In an exclusive interview with the TV Cultura, Isabella Ballalaivice president of Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm), exposed that vaccination against Covid-19 is perhaps the best current situation compared to other national campaigns. “Regarding routine vaccination, which is not a target for anti-vaccinationists, we have been through the worst scenario since the 1980s, our vaccination coverage has plummeted and that means the risk of reintroduction of diseases that we managed to control or even eliminate, such as polio”.
“Our coverage against Covid-19 is high because people are afraid and see the disease”, he reports.
According to data from the bulletin released this Wednesday (24) by the consortium of press vehicles, the number of people vaccinated with at least one dose against Covid-19 reached 180,635,624. (84.08% of the total population), while 169.9 million inhabitants completed the vaccination, which is equivalent to 79.12% of the national population. Regarding childhood vaccination, 13,837,233 children between three and 11 years old took the initial dose, equivalent to 52.37% of the population in this age group. 9,227,950 completed the vaccine cycle (34.92%).
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According to Isabella, low adherence to national vaccination campaigns are a danger. “At any moment, polio can come back, there are already 33 countries that have eliminated the disease and that are in an outbreak, we are not going to believe that God protects Brazil, right? [..] The risks for all these infectious diseases are not for five years, they are for any moment”, he highlights.
Cases have already been registered in the United States it’s the Brazil is currently classified by Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) as a country at high risk for disease recurrence. O Ministry of Health started the National Polio Vaccination Campaign that seeks to achieve 95% of children under five (14.3 million people). Started on the 8th of August, it had 2,583,284 doses applied until last Thursday (25). The action runs until the 9th of September.
According to the vice president of SBIm, the increase in cases of meningitis, pneumococcal pneumonia, rubella and rotavirus has already begun to be noticed and no disease is not at risk of returning. “With the return to normal life, exposure returns, and small children, for example, under one year, five years, are gradually exposed, some get sick and others are just immunized – they get the disease, but they don’t get sick – they haven’t passed so, for them not to get sick, we vaccinate, and since they were not vaccinated, they are totally susceptible”, he declares.
For her, a big reason that contributes to the situation “is the lack of adequate communication about the campaign”. As an example, she recalls that years ago the population was afraid of diseases such as polio, and even so, empathic and followed advertisements from each other were shown on television. “Today it is no longer on television, only on social media and without any empathy, simply saying: ‘on such day bring your child to be vaccinated’”.
“To call it only in digital media, although everyone thinks that social networks are everything in life, it is not true, and when we talk about Brazil, in all the surveys about the source of information on vaccination for the population, the main source of information pointed out is for them are the traditional media, especially television”, he concludes.
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On Monday (22), the Brazilian Immunization Society launched the campaign “Infantile Paralysis — The Threat Is Back”. The initiative aims to alert the population to the danger of polio and encourage adherence to the campaign currently promoted by the ministry and routine vaccination, available free of charge throughout the year.
It will be carried out exclusively online, over 45 days and materials with informative pieces, videos with experts and testimonials from two people suffering from the disease’s sequelae will be published on social networks and websites of SBIm and supporting entities.
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