The Ministry of Health has released details of this year’s national influenza vaccination campaign in Brazil.
Vaccination, which protects against acute forms of influenza virus infection, is carried out after the outbreak of the off-season influenza epidemic, which affected cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022.
The government’s goal is to vaccinate 90% of all groups that are part of the campaign’s target audience.
About 80 million doses will be distributed, manufactured by the Butantan Institute.
Understand below who can take the influenza vaccine in health centers, what are the campaign dates and the importance of protecting yourself from the influenza virus.
What are the campaign dates?
The Ministry of Health reports that the flu vaccination in 2022 will take place between April 4 and June 3.
Victory Day, in which there is a large patriotic mobilization and an incentive for people to take the dose, is set for April 30th.
The vaccination will take place in two phases. The first, between April 4 and May 5, will prioritize seniors over the age of 60 and health care workers.
The second, starting May 3, will be open to other members of the target audiences.
Who can get the flu vaccination?
The big change in the groups covered this year compared to previous seasons is the exclusion of children aged 5 to 6 years. In 2021, they were part of the target audience.
See below the details of all groups that can receive the preventive dose of influenza virus in health publications:
- Babies 6 months to 4 years, 11 months and 29 days
- Public and private health workers
- pregnant women
- Postpartum women (women who have given birth to a child in the last 45 days)
- Elementary and higher education teachers
- A native
- Seniors over 60 years old
- Armed Forces Professionals
- Persons with permanent disabilities
- truck drivers
- Road public transport workers for urban and long-distance commuters
- port workers
- People deprived of liberty
- Adolescents and youth up to the age of 21 under socio-educational measures
- Prison system officials
- People with chronic non-communicable diseases and other special medical conditions
Check the list of non-communicable chronic diseases that are included in the country’s influenza vaccination campaign:
- Chronic respiratory diseases (asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease …)
- Chronic heart disease (high blood pressure, ischemia, heart failure …)
- Chronic kidney disease (nephrotic syndrome, dialysis patient…)
- Chronic liver diseases (hepatitis, cirrhosis …)
- Chronic neurological diseases (multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy …)
- Situations in which the immune system is suppressed
- Class III obesity
- Who has undergone a solid organ transplant or a bone marrow transplant
- Trisomy patients (Down syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, hip syndrome …)
To know the full relationship with all diseases, Access the Ministry of Health report on this link.
If you are not one of these groups, it is possible to get the flu shot in private clinics.
There is also the possibility that the Ministry of Health will expand immunization to the entire population in the middle of the year, if a campaign focused on the target audiences is not successful. This has already happened in previous years.
Who among us cannot be vaccinated against influenza?
In general, the immune system that protects against the flu is considered safe and has few side effects.
The most common reactions are pain and redness at the injection site. Some people may also have a fever, malaise, and a little headache.
These discomforts usually go away after a few days. If they persist, it is important to seek a medical evaluation.
The vaccine is only contraindicated for children under 6 months of age and for individuals who have had a severe reaction to doses given in previous years.
Those with a fever should wait a few days for the discomfort to improve before taking a dose.
For some time, influenza serum has not been used on individuals with egg allergy.
This is because, during the manufacturing process, the potions are grown in chicken eggs, and there was a fear that the effects of this product could cause an allergic reaction in patients.
Recently, this recommendation fell apart. The Department of Health recommends the vaccine even for those allergic to eggs, provided some basic care is taken when there is a risk of a more serious reaction (eg a health professional is in the unit).
What is the installation of the 2022 vaccine?
Every year, the formulation of the influenza vaccine changes according to the guidance of the World Health Organization, the World Health Organization.
The idea is to include in the immunization system the strains of influenza virus that circulate most intensely at that time.
In the annual campaign, Brazil uses a trivalent vaccine. This means that they carry three different viral strains.
It is important to say here that the viruses in the vaccine are fragmented and inactivated during the manufacturing process. This eliminates any chance for them to cause disease.
In 2022, the formulation of the influenza vaccine that will be used in Brazil includes the following strains:
- A / victoria / 2570/2019 (H1N1) pdm09
- A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)
- B / Australia / 02/1359417/2021
The H3N2 Darwin strain was responsible for an off-season epidemic recorded in some Brazilian cities between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022.
The vaccine is a single dose for most groups.
The only exception is children who will be vaccinated against influenza for the first time. In this case, they should receive two doses, with an interval of at least four weeks between applications.
Can you get flu and coronavirus vaccines on the same day?
Yes, there is no need to wait for an interval between doses, according to the Ministry of Health report. It can be applied on the same day.
In this case, the ideal is to apply it in different places of the body, such as the right and left arm.
The only exception to this rule is children from 5 to 11 years old. In this particular case, you must wait 15 days between doses that protect against coronavirus and influenza.
Due to the pandemic, the trend is to prioritize the application of the COVID-19 immunization agent in children. Only then should the flu shot be given.
National public health authorities are also promoting the need to expand coverage of measles vaccination during this period – there will be a specific campaign to prevent this disease targeting children aged 6 months to 5 years and health workers.
What is the importance of vaccination against influenza?
As with vaccines against the Coronavirus, flu vaccines do not protect well against infection itself, but they are effective in preventing complications of the disease, related to hospitalization and death.
In other words, getting vaccinated may not prevent you from contracting the flu virus, but it does greatly reduce the risk of the condition developing into something more serious.
The Ministry states in the published technical report that “influenza vaccination for persons belonging to the target groups of the immunization program is mainly aimed at reducing the burden of disease, preventing hospitalization and deaths, external consultations and emergency services.” Recently.
Although common, influenza is a serious illness that can have consequences for people’s health.
The World Health Organization estimates that 20-30% of children and 5-10% of adults come into contact with the virus that causes this disease each year.
The agency also estimates that there are between 290,000 and 650,000 flu-related deaths every twelve months across the planet.
In Brazil, the 2021 vaccination campaign did not reach the goal of covering at least 90% of all individuals who are part of the target audiences.
Overall, only 72.8% of people eligible for a flu shot went to health clinics during last year’s campaign.
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