Brazil is at high risk of a return of poliomyelitis, warns SBIm president

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The risk of the return of infantile paralysis in Brazil is considered very high by the World Health Organization (WHO), which put the country on high alert.

The Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm) points out that vaccination coverage against poliomyelitis is around 70%, which means 1 million children are unprotected against a disease that can kill or leave serious motor sequelae.

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In an interview with CNN Radio the president of SBIm, Juarez Cunha, explained that the rate has fallen even further since the beginning of the pandemic and recalls that until 2019 the coverage was 85%, a rate still below 95%, which is considered ideal.

Cunha believes that many parents of the current generation have not lived with the consequences of infantile paralysis and, therefore, may not be aware of the importance of immunization. “People don’t remember anymore, the last case in Brazil is from 1989, but polio continues to occur in the world, endemic in some countries and with outbreaks in others”, said the pediatrician.

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The Brazilian Society of Immunizations launched this week the campaign “Child paralysis: the threat is back”. The initiative takes place in parallel with the national vaccination campaign promoted by the Ministry of Health since the 8th of this month.

“We have safe, effective and free vaccines that offer every possibility of preventing the resurgence of this disease in Brazil, but we see little adherence both in the government campaign against poliomyelitis and in all other vaccines”, laments the president of SBIm.

Immunization against poliomyelitis is carried out through three injectable doses, interspersed at two, four and six months of age, plus two additional doses by drops up to five years of age.

The disease has no specific treatment and can lead to irreversible limb paralysis, in addition to killing.

Source: CNN Brasil

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