Flu vaccine: Doctors recommend 2 doses for the elderly and children.  Understand

Flu vaccine: Doctors recommend 2 doses for the elderly and children. Understand

To circumvent the fall in antibodies against Influenza in adults over 60 years, children and risk groups, infectologists from the Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm) recommend taking the flu vaccine twice a year. The interval between the application of doses would be six months. The reinforcement strategy is advocated to decrease the number of respiratory infections, medical demand and hospitalizations.

The flu vaccine available in Brazil begins to lose effectiveness after six months, according to experts. As a result, during the 24th National Immunization Journey 2022, at the beginning of September, the doctors presented the suggestion of a booster dose.

Influenza vaccination in Cachoeiro. Credit: Disclosure | Municipality of Cachoeiro

Infectologist Lauro Ferreira Pinto, a member of the Brazilian Society of Immunizations in Espírito Santo, was at the congress. He explained that, since the beginning of 2022, the United States uses an immunizer with four times more antigens than the common vaccine. In addition to it, there is a recombinant vaccine with more modern technology and another with adjuvants. There are three most effective vaccines for the elderly, recommended by the official committee of the American government.

According to Dr. Lauro, the high-dose vaccine of the antigen is submitted to Anvisa and the expectation is that it will be approved by the beginning of next year to be used in Brazil.

“As it is not yet available, the suggestion of the immunization society is to give a second dose of the common flu vaccine after six months, as protection for the elderly and people with a depressed immune system. But this is conditional, not mandatory”, highlighted.

At the end of 2021, Brazil had an increase in influenza cases due to the Darwin (H3N2) strain. Therefore, the public service carried out an out-of-season vaccination campaign. The infectologist explains that, unlike countries in the Northern Hemisphere — where the cold is intense and the flu is concentrated in one period of the year — in tropical countries like Brazil, flu outbreaks occur at different times of the year, such as winter, Christmas and carnival.

“As Brazil does not have such clear seasons, the circulation of the virus is freer. The recommendation of the second dose against influenza shows the possibility of boosting immunization. The flu vaccine can be prescribed by doctors, depending on the case, but as it is not mandatory for the public health service to find it, it depends on availability and logistics”, commented the doctor.

The six-month interval between doses may be shorter, depending on the situation. “In general, six months would be the right one, but it can be shorter if you have an outbreak of flu before, for example”, said Lauro Ferreira.

a survey of the Gazette in laboratories that apply the flu vaccine in Vitória shows that the value of the dose of the immunizer is R$ 120. For the application, it is necessary to take a vaccination card. The immunizer is usually available throughout the year.


According to the InfoGripe Bulletin, from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Espírito Santo are likely to grow. The infectious disease physician Paulo Mendes Peçanha, professor of the Medicine course at Ufes, believes that the low vaccination coverage may be responsible for this possible growth.

“The main viruses that are circulating are the flu and the Covid-19. And we are kind of stuck in the third and fourth doses of the coronavirus and, in addition, in 2022 we had a low flu vaccination coverage. vaccines can reverse the situation”, pointed out the doctor.

Espírito Santo presents a probability of growth in cases of respiratory syndrome
Espírito Santo presents a probability of increasing cases of respiratory syndrome. Credit: InfoGripe | Fiocruz

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