Health centers across Brazil started administering the flu vaccine on Monday (the 10th) to people who are part of priority groups. In the private network, vaccination targeting the general public began in March.
In Brazil, the vaccine provided in the Unified Health System (SUS) differs from the vaccine sold in private clinics and pharmacies:
- in SUS, Trivalent vaccine and protects from it Three strains It differs from the influenza virus that causes influenza: two types A (H1N1 and H3N2) and one type B (called Victoria);
- on the private network, The quadrivalent vaccine and protects from it four strains Virus: two of type A (H1N1 and H3N2) and two of type B (Victoria and Yamagata).
- This year, the private network started offering A new quadvalent influenza vaccineAnd It is only intended for people over the age of 60.
Effective and free: the SUS vaccine
Infection specialist consultant g 1 claim it The vaccine offered by SUS is effective and prevents the strains of influenza that cause the most hospitalizations and deaths: H1N1 (responsible for a pandemic in 2009) and H3N2 (which caused an off-season “boom” of infections in late 2021 and early 2022).
“From a public health point of view, protection against three strains of influenza is sufficient,” said Alexandre Naim, vice president of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (SBI).
The immunization purchased by the Ministry of Health is produced by the Butantan Institute, which every year updates the vaccine according to which viruses circulated the most in the previous year, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). With each campaign, the lab delivers about 80 million doses to the federal government.
↪️ But, at first, this amount of vaccines is only for groups at greater risk To develop severe forms of the disease or more susceptible to the virussuch as the elderly, children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, teachers, and others (see below).
🔄 Those to whom this list does not apply need to wait for the Ministry of Health to issue the vaccination The general populationWhat happens when doses are left in health centers? This decision is always made after the end of the campaign This year, it runs until May 31.
💰 In this case, Anyone who wants to get the vaccine now or before that date must pay for it.
Tetravalent, private network vaccine
in private networkVaccines are available, manufactured by different laboratories, Protection against four different strains of influenza – One more dose than the dose provided by the SUS. Therefore, it is called tetravalent or tetravalent. Like the general network immunization, they also undergo annual updates according to the World Health Organization.
According to infection scientist Renato Kfoury, head of the immunization department of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), it is necessary to wait for the cold to pass in order to know which types of influenza are most prevalent here during the season.
Kfoury said, “Scientific societies advise taking a vaccine with a broader field of protection, because you don’t know which virus will spread this winter.”
In a technical note, published in March this year, the Brazilian Society of Immunization (SBIM) recommended “the preferential use, whenever possible, of the quadrivalent vaccine, due to its greater protective spectrum. Routine, especially in groups at greater risk of developing severe forms.”
All persons over the age of 6 months can receive the quadvalent influenza vaccine in the private network. The cost of a dose varies on each site: it can be found for as low as R$69 or as high as R$100.
What about the elderly vaccine?
This year, the private network began offering a new flu vaccine, which is only indicated for those over 60, the public who has a lower response to the vaccine due to immune system limitations.
- a eflueldawhich is manufactured by the Sanofi laboratory, is also quadrivalent, but it is called high dose because it is more concentrated than the other vaccine, which contains the “standard dose”;
- It contains four times more antigens, allowing for a four times greater immune response in the elderly, and 24% greater potency.
According to Patrícia Vanderborght, Doctor of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and in charge of the immunization sector of Richet Medicina Diagnostics, studies have shown that the new immune system provides this group with a level of protection similar to that observed with the dose of standard vaccines applied to younger adults.
“This is with the same safety profile and with the same annual update of influenza subtypes as the seasonal vaccine,” Patricia said.
According to Jose Serpino Neto, an infection scientist and researcher at the National Institute of Infection (INI/Fiocruz) and the Institut D’Or, recent data showed that influenza vaccines were 54% effective in the population over 65 years of age in the United States. and Canada, countries that have recently gone through the peak season for the virus that causes influenza.
“This is data from last season on the target audience for the high-dose quadrivalent vaccine. The effectiveness here in Brazil will depend on the ‘match’ in terms of which virus will spread,” Serpino said.
The value of the specific influenza vaccine for the elderly is higher, ranging between R$250.00 and R$300.00.
Groups that can get the vaccine for free on the public network:
- Children from 6 months to less than 6 years (5 years, 11 months and 29 days),
- pregnant women
- indian people,
- health workers,
- seniors aged 60 or over,
- public and private school teachers,
- People with chronic non-communicable diseases and other special medical conditions,
- people with permanent disabilities,
- professionals from the security and rescue forces and the armed forces,
- Truck drivers and workers in the transportation of passengers on public roads in cities and long distances,
- dock workers,
- prison system officials,
- Adolescents and young adults from 12 to 21 years old who are subject to social and educational measures
- and all residents deprived of their liberty.
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