Today (5) begins the National Vaccination Campaign against Polio for children up to 5 years old. The mobilization runs until October 30 in health posts across the country. The health agencies warn that the population should look for the service even with the covid-19 pandemic, as the vaccine is extremely important to keep children immune to the disease. On Saturday (17), vaccination will be reinforced with the national mobilization day.
Also starting this Monday, the national multivaccination campaign begins. Children and adolescents under 15 years old, unvaccinated or with incomplete vaccine schedules, must attend health facilities to update the vaccination booklet.
In the target audience of the campaign against polio are children under 5 years of age, with differentiated strategies for children up to 1 year old and for those aged 1 to 4 years. Depending on the vaccination schedule registered in the booklet, the child may receive the Oral Polio Vaccine (VOP), as a booster or extra dose, or the Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine (VIP), as a routine dose.
The Ministry of Health estimates that there are 11.2 million children in this age group in the country. The goal is to immunize 95% of this public.
Polio, also called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute contagious disease caused by poliovirus, which can infect children and adults and, in severe cases, can lead to muscle paralysis, usually in the lower limbs, or even death. Vaccination is the only form of prevention.
The lack of sanitation, poor housing conditions and poor personal hygiene are factors that favor the transmission of poliovirus, through direct contact with feces or secretions eliminated from the mouth of sick people.
There is no specific treatment for polio, all infected people must be hospitalized, receiving treatment of symptoms according to the clinical picture. Among the most frequent symptoms are fever, headache and body pain, vomiting, spasms and stiff neck. In the paralytic form, there is a sudden motor deficiency, accompanied by fever, flaccidity and muscle asymmetry and persistence of residual paralysis (sequelae) 60 days after the beginning of the disease.
The sequelae are treated through physical therapy and exercises that help to develop the strength of the affected muscles. In addition, the use of medications to relieve muscle and joint pain may be indicated.
Since 2016, the polio vaccination schedule has changed to three doses of the injectable vaccine (VIP, at 2, 4 and 6 months) and more booster doses with the bivalent oral vaccine (OPV, droplet). The measure is in line with the guidance of the World Health Organization and is part of the global polio eradication process. This vaccination provides individual immunity and increases group immunity in the general population.
In Brazil, the last case of wild poliovirus infection occurred in 1989, in the city of Souza, Paraíba. In 1994, the country received certification from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) as a virus-free area. In the international scenario, today, there are two countries endemic for the disease: Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Health instructed the public to adopt preventive measures against covid-19, to ensure the safety of people who attend the posts.
Among the guidelines for health units are ensuring the administration of vaccines in open and ventilated places; provide a place for hand washing or gel alcohol; advise that only a family member accompany the person to be vaccinated and perform screening of people with respiratory symptoms before entering the vaccination room.
According to the ministry, so far there is no medical contraindication to vaccinate people infected with the new coronavirus. If any person with covid-19, suspected or confirmed, is hospitalized or in a health unit with a vaccine room, they should receive doses according to the national vaccination schedule.
The national campaign also aims to raise awareness among the population about the importance of vaccination for protection against various diseases, within the scope of the Vaccine Brazil Movement, launched last year with the aim of combating fake news and increasing the population’s vaccination coverage.
Rio de Janeiro
In Rio de Janeiro, vaccines will be available in the 237 Primary Health Care units in the capital, from 8 am to 5 pm.
During the campaigns, the vaccination books will be evaluated to allow updating of the doses in arrears, in compliance with the schemes recommended by the National Immunization Program. of the population aged 15 to 49 years.
Even with actions to combat the pandemic of the new coronavirus, the Department of Health has put in place strategies to immunize the population. In influenza vaccination, there were actions such as vaccination in a drive-thru system at Detran stations and at home. In addition, vaccines were applied at network stations, following safety measures. More than 2 million people were immunized against the flu during the campaign.
According to the secretariat, the mobilization is a strategy to provide the update of the vaccine calendar in a single trip to the health unit, which facilitates the access of parents or guardians to public health services.