With less than a month to complete the 24th National Influenza Vaccination Campaign and the 8th National Health Care Surveillance and Vaccination Campaign for Healthcare Workers, the Ministry of Health (Sesa) warns of a lack of commitment from priority groups, especially those with vaccine targets to be met. The low vaccination coverage of children in both campaigns is one of the highlights.
Although immunization with Espírito Santo was expected and it was possible to receive doses at the same time, just over 18% of the pediatric population aged six months to less than 5 years had been vaccinated against influenza and 17% against measles. The Ministry of Health estimates that 253,097 children in this age group will be vaccinated or that the target set by the federal agency for 90 percent vaccination coverage against influenza and 95 percent against measles will be met. Campaigns will continue until the 3rd.
Danielle Grillo, coordinator of the Sesa State Immunization and Immunologically Preventable Disease Surveillance Program, stresses the importance of family and caregiver involvement at this time.
“The vaccine helps reduce disease complications in the most vulnerable groups. With regard to influenza, children, the elderly, health care workers, pregnant women, women who have given birth, teachers and indigenous peoples have goals to achieve precisely because they are the groups that need this treatment. We live in the high season of respiratory diseases and all the more important is the involvement of everyone, ”he said.
So far, the best influenza coverage, but still below ideal, is in the over-60 age group, 46.1%. Health care workers who started vaccination at the same time as the elderly, March 23, are 38.7 percent.
Pregnant women who started on April 26 have coverage of 10.7% and 6.4%, respectively. And of indigenous peoples and teachers, the groups with vaccination targets that began on May 3 are 8.9% and 2.3%, respectively. For measles, the vaccination target is only for a group of children who are not affected by health care workers.
“Another important aspect of measles is that when we meet our targets each year, we will work together to re-certify the disease, as we did until 2019. We were a disease-free country and low vaccination coverage directly affects the spread of this highly contagious virus, which can be fatal.” , Danielle Grillo said.
Applicable dose estimates do not reach the ideal mean
Espírito Santo anticipates influenza and measles campaigns in relation to the dates set by the Ministry of Health for vaccination target groups, but even if there are more days on the calendar, estimates of the doses used are below average.
For children, both campaigns focus on achieving an average of at least 90% of vaccine coverage at 5,840 doses per day. Currently, about 2,960 influenza and 2,690 measles are spread per day.
For the elderly, the ideal average of 7,300 doses per day to cover 90% of the group is in contrast to an average of just over 5,470 doses per day. However, women who have given birth have the lowest current dose on average, about 26 doses per day, with about 150 doses / day ideal to consider 90% vaccination coverage.