Do you know of recent cases of smallpox and polio? These are just two examples of diseases that have been eradicated in Brazil in recent decades. More recent data also shows that rubella, a virus that has always worried pregnant women about the risks of sequelae in babies, has also not had more cases registered in recent years. This advance is due to vaccination.
Made from dead or attenuated virus molecules, vaccines enter the body and cause the immune system to react and produce antibodies to defend the body against disease, making it immune. All vaccines provided for in the official communication calendar are safe!
National Immunization Day seeks awareness
National Immunization Day is celebrated in Brazil on June 9 and warns of the importance of keeping the vaccination card up to date. This care is essential in all stages of life, but especially essential in childhood, when it is possible to prevent and combat serious diseases that can lead to death.
We talked to pediatrician Dr. Fabrício Valadão Batistoni about the importance of awareness that vaccines are the only effective way to prevent diseases.
Brazil has the most complete program in the world
The Brazilian population has access to all vaccines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for free, thanks to the Ministry of Health program that is a reference worldwide.
“The National Immunization Program (PNI) in Brazil is one of the most complete in the world. It is necessary to make the population aware that the only way to prevent the disease is vaccination. Laboratory and imaging tests can, at most, make an early diagnosis. Not vaccinating a child is giving up the only known way to avoid the disease and, therefore, a form of negligence ”, warned the specialist.
Rumors cause fear and anti-vaccine movements
Fortunately, most Brazilian families are aware of the importance of keeping their vaccination card up to date. But unfounded rumors about serious reactions and sequelae can cause some parents to neglect their children’s health.
An example of this was news that spread in 1998, suggesting that the measles, rubella and mumps vaccine – MMR – would be linked to the onset of autism. “The information was published in the renowned scientific journal Lancet. The article was a scam and the magazine was forced to make a public retraction but, unfortunately, the damage was already done. Several families stopped vaccinating their children with MMR and Europe again recorded cases of measles, rubella and mumps ”, recalled Dr. Fabrício, showing that even if no new cases of the diseases are not known, maintaining vaccination is what ensures that viruses do not circulate again.
The importance of following the official vaccination schedule
But just vaccinating is not enough! It is important to comply with the vaccination schedule, respecting the number of doses and the correct age for immunization.
“Vaccine calendars are designed to promote immunization at the age when the child is most susceptible to the disease, according to the number of doses required for the production of antibody titers, preferably generating immunological memory for life. There are vaccines that need low doses. Others need an enhancer to induce the production of antibodies ”, explained the expert.
The flu vaccine, for example, requires an annual campaign. As each country defines its vaccination schedule, according to the relevance of immunization in that period and region, Brazilian children (and other priority groups, such as pregnant women and the elderly) need to be vaccinated against serotypes of the Influenza virus that are more likely to circulate in that country. specific year.
“As the influenza virus mutates very easily, it is necessary to to review vaccine composition and update it according to circulating serotypes. If it were not so, the vaccine would become irrelevant for the patient ”, explained Dr. Fabrício.
Vaccination schedule in Brazil
The official calendar of the Ministry of Health provides free of charge all vaccines recommended by WHO, which fight more than 20 diseases in all age groups.
Click here and check the complete list of vaccines, number of doses and when they should be taken.
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