Fiocruz scientists say there are 500,000 children in the country without the polio vaccine

An earlier article had misreported Akira Homer’s position at Fiocruz as director. He is a Senior Scientific Adviser. Below is the revised version:

According to Opas, a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Latin America, low vaccination rates in these countries are a threat to the entire continent. No cases of the disease have been reported in the region since 1994. In Brazil, which once had 95% coverage of the polio vaccine, it now has one of the lowest rates in its history, at 67%, said researcher Akira Homa, a biomanguinhos adviser to senior scientist Fiocruz. He was responsible for eradicating the disease in the country in the 1980s.

“There are currently 500,000 children in our country who have not been vaccinated,” Homa said in an interview. Estadao. “This number is alarming, especially since we are close to Haiti and Bolivia, two countries most at risk of infection.”

In a note, the health ministry said it “closely monitors vaccination coverage and has worked to intensify strategies needed to reverse the low coverage scenario”. The folder also states that it recommends that states, municipalities, and federal districts conduct an active search for vaccines, and emphasizes the importance of maintaining routine immunizations. The ministry further said that dissemination of information on safety and efficacy of vaccines as a public health measure is also part of the ongoing work throughout the year.

Polio vaccination coverage was not so low?

Unfortunately, coverage of all vaccines, not just polio, has been steadily declining over five or six years, and more sharply, in the years leading up to the epidemic, even with the recommendation of social isolation. But the truth is that coverage has already fallen, not just in Brazil, but around the world. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) named low vaccine coverage as one of the top ten public health problems in the world. The situation is really serious and very worrying because what we call the number of vulnerable people, the number of vulnerable people is increasing. Four weeks ago, we had a case of polio in Malawi, which is considered a polio free country. Most recently we found another case of polio in Israel, a country with a traditionally high vaccine coverage. There have been two imported cases.

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