There are 500,000 children in Brazil without the polio vaccine, says Fiocruz’s director

At least five lakh children in the country have not been vaccinated against polio. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has listed Brazil as one of the eight Latin American countries with the highest risk of recurrence of the disease due to the high number of people without protection against the disease. In the most severe cases, the disease can cause paralysis.

There are currently 500,000 children in our country who have not been vaccinated, “Homa said in an interview with Estadao.

In Brazil, according to the National Immunization Program (PNI), children should be vaccinated with an injectable (inactivated virus) vaccine between the ages of two, four and six months. Then, they took two doses of oral immunosuppressant (live attenuated virus), the first at 15 months of age and the other at four years of age. According to official statistics, 67% of children had three doses of injectable vaccine. Oral vaccine coverage is even lower: 53%.

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 found 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.

Is there a real risk of polio returning to Brazil?

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