Fall in vaccination coverage in Brazil should leave teenagers without HPV protection

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Our young people cannot be without the HPV vaccine

.By Alexandre Padilha.

Approached here recently the shame that Brazil did not achieve vaccination coverage for the prevention of various diseases in children last year, for the first time in the century, that was before the covid-19 pandemic, which demonstrates the lack of dissemination of vaccination campaigns and the destruction of our National Immunization Program (PNI) by the Bolsonaro government.

(photo by Marcelo Camargo / Agência Brasil)

And this sad milestone will be worse in 2020 with the pandemic, the difficulties people have to go to the Basic Health Units (UBS) and the dismantling of the teams of the Family Health Strategy (FHS) program due to the lack of incentive from the federal government, also due to having removed doctors from the Mais Médicos Program and still not relocating professionals in cities.

One of the vaccines that showed reduced coverage was the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which prevents cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth and oropharynx, which was incorporated into the SUS calendar in 2013 when he was Minister of Health. At the time, the family that wished to protect their 9 to 14 year old son or daughter from cancer caused by the virus, had to pay around R $ 1,200 reais in three doses of the vaccine, which were offered in private laboratories.

The introduction of the plant for this vaccine is the result of technology transfer from the Ministry of Health in partnership with the Butantan Institute and which is also being used for the development of the vaccine against covid-19. This partnership, in addition to ensuring free immunization protection, generated technology and employment.

In the case of the HPV vaccine, the presence of children and young people at school is essential to achieve vaccination coverage, especially for the second dose. When we started HPV vaccination campaigns, we partnered with the Health at School Program and encouraged city governments and state governments to carry out campaigns within schools, and they could even do vaccinations in the school environment with parental authorization.

In 2020, with isolation, social distance and the interruption of face-to-face classes, we did not have this component for adequate vaccination. The problem is that children who are 14 in 2020 will turn 15 next year and will be out of the SUS vaccination rating.

For this reason, I presented Bill 4798/2020, which, exceptionally, extends the vaccination calendar for the HPV vaccine, allowing the vaccination of young people who will turn 15 in 2021. I believe that this measure is necessary for the public health of our country. country as it guarantees the correction of this prevention gap to prevent the spread of the virus.

Alexandre Padilha he is a doctor, university professor and federal deputy (PT-SP). He was Minister of Lula’s Political Coordination and of Dilma’s Health and Secretary of Health in the Fernando Haddad administration in the city of SP.

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