Brazil still needs to vaccinate more than 47% of children against Covid-19

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While the number of children with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) grows, Brazil has 52.3% of children between 5 and 11 years old vaccinated with the first dose against Covid-19, according to a survey by the Ministry of Health. CNN based on data released by states. In relation to the second dose, the rate drops to just over 10%.

The states with the most advanced application of the 1st dose are São Paulo (81.7%), Piauí (78.8%), Ceará (66%), Minas Gerais (63.5%) and Rio Grande do Norte (56, 3%). At the other end, with the lowest vaccination coverage, are Amapá (16%), Roraima (16.1%), Acre (24.6%), Tocantins (24.8%) and Amazonas (25.3%).

The Infogripe bulletin, released this Friday (25) by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), shows that the country recorded a 216% increase in the moving average of cases among children aged 5 to 11 years. This represents a change from around 160 weekly cases to 506.

In relation to the public between 0 and 4 years old, the increase was 77%. According to the survey, the number of weekly cases rose from approximately 970 to about 1,870. This growth occurred between the first week of February and the epidemiological week of March 13-19. According to the foundation, the data takes into account all viruses associated with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndromes.

Also according to Fiocruz, in the last four epidemiological weeks, the prevalence is 73.8% of Covid-19, 15.8% of syncytial virus, 1.3% of influenza A and 0.3% of influenza B.

InfoGripe coordinator Marcelo Gomes warns that there is still a great disparity between states in relation to vaccination against Covid-19. “The expressive increase in hospitalizations for respiratory problems in children occurred especially in the public from 0 to 4 years old, a group that still cannot be vaccinated, and from 5 to 11 years old, who are still in the vaccination period. Regarding the cases of Covid-19, we also see that there is a very large variation from one state to the other, both in the first and in the second dose. This has an impact on children, who also need to be vaccinated so that they do not have a new increase in cases, as we see in Europe,” he defended.

Gomes also notes that the increase in SARS cases occurred during the return of the school year. For the researcher, it is up to those responsible to take measures to protect their children, such as avoiding agglomerations and non-pharmacological actions, such as gel alcohol and the use of masks.

“With this increase comes the role of adults. In these teaching environments, public transport and agglomeration. Adults end up, in a way, facilitating the exposure of children to various respiratory viruses. Masks have a big impact on all of them, not just Covid-19. It is an extremely simple, inexpensive and very low-impact action on our daily lives that ends up increasing protection”, she emphasizes.

According to the president of the Department of Immunizations of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), Renato Kfouri, more respiratory diseases are expected at this time of year.

“In autumn, there is a greater presence of cold and dry weather, one of the characteristics of viruses that cause respiratory problems. March, April and May are the months that see more children with pneumonia. This year, we have another virus contributing to the overload at this time of year, which is Covid-19, which increases the number of cases even more”, says the pediatrician.

Vaccines are safe and effective

The experts consulted by CNN assess that childhood vaccination still faces misinformation. According to the president of the Immunization Department of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), Renato Kfouri, there needs to be an awareness campaign for parents and children. For him, the more children vaccinated, the lower the number of hospitalizations.

“We observe that there is still a lot of misinformation, fear and mistrust on the part of adults and this has a negative impact on the number of children vaccinated”, he analyzes.

Fiocruz’s InfoGripe coordinator, Marcelo Gomes, also clarifies that vaccines are the result of a careful research and testing process. “It is important for family members to understand that vaccines are safe. We have study data and concrete population data that make it clear how different the risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 is between those who already have the two doses and those who have not been vaccinated. Unfortunately, the entire beginning of the childhood vaccination process ended up being discussed by a series of opinion formers, people with an active voice in our population. Most did not and do not know the information regarding safety and efficacy,” he added.

*under supervision of Pauline Almeida

Source: CNN Brasil

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