Brazil's National Influenza Vaccination Campaign kicked off officially throughout the country on Saturday (Apr. 30), with a “D-Day” mobilization run by the Ministry of Health. The campaign is targeted at children aged between six months and five years, pregnant women, elderly people, women within 45 days of childbirth, individuals with medical conditions, and health workers. Indigenous people, incarcerated populations, and prison workers will also receive immunization.
The ministry's target is to provide immunization to at least 80% of a total of 49.8 million people. The priority groups, according to the ministry, were set based on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), epidemiological studies, and observations of how respiratory infections behave. “Priority was given to populations that are more vulnerable to the deterioration of respiratory diseases,” the ministry explained.
The federal government began shipping the vaccines on April 1st, and at least 22 states decided to begin the immunization efforts earlier. With the first four deliveries, Brazilian states received 30.7 million doses—this is 57% of the total shipments for this year's campaign. The remaining doses will be shipped in two more batches in the coming weeks.
By May 6, 100% of the doses are expected to have been delivered across the country. A total 54 million doses will be provided to protect from three subtypes of the influenza virus—H1N1, H3N2, and influenza B. A total 65,000 vaccination services will operate nationwide during the campaign, which runs until May 20, involving 240,000 health workers.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.