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Dengue: with a low vaccination rate, states are considering expanding the target audience to avoid “expiring” doses

Of the 1,235,119 dengue vaccines distributed to municipalities selected by the Ministry of Health, only 182,204 were applied to children and adolescents who are part of the target audience defined by the folder . The number of doses applied equivalent to 14.75% of the total distributed .

The data was collected from the start of vaccination, on February 9, until last Saturday (2). In total, 521 municipalities were selected by the federal government to receive vaccines through the Unified Health System (SUS). The cities make up a total of 37 health regions that, according to the ministry, are considered endemic for dengue.

Pioneer in dengue vaccination, the Federal District (DF) reported last week, that, almost 20 days after the start of distribution of doses, only 32% of children aged 10 and 11 had been immunized. Of the 71,708 doses received from the ministry, there were still around 48,000 available for application at all 67 vaccination points in the DF.

“Like all immunobiologicals, the dengue vaccine also has an expiration date. Vaccinations are valid until April 30th ”, highlighted the government of the Federal District in a note. The statement highlights that “Negotiations are being made for a possible expansion of the target audience in order to ensure that all doses are effectively applied to the population”.

The Federal District is one of the federative units most affected by the disease. Data from the arbovirus monitoring panel indicate that the DF already has 117,588 probable cases of dengue, in addition to 78 deaths from the disease. There are still 73 deaths under investigation. The incidence rate, at this moment, is 3,647 cases for each group of 100 thousand inhabitants.

In the city of Rio de Janeiro, until last Friday (1st), only 18% of children aged 10 and 11 had been taken by their guardians to health units to receive the dengue vaccine. According to a report from the Municipal Health Department, in the first week of vaccination against the disease, only 25,317 doses were administered.

Data from the arbovirus monitoring panel show that, across the state of Rio de Janeiro, 91,445 probable cases of dengue were recorded, in addition to 13 deaths from the disease. There are still 73 deaths under investigation. The incidence rate, at this moment, is 575 cases for each group of 100 thousand inhabitants.

Alert to parents

For more than 15 years, pediatrician Natália Bastos has been treating patients from newborns to teenagers in the federal capital. She highlighted that there is an explosion in dengue cases and that parents need to be cautious.

“I would like to issue this alert asking parents who have not been vaccinated to look for the vaccination room to do the Qdenga [vacina contra a dengue]. It is a vaccine made with the attenuated virus, a very safe vaccine. It has been developed by the Takeda laboratory since before Covid-19, before the pandemic. So, it is not a new vaccine, it is not a vaccine that was developed hastily. There are already several studies and it has gone through all the stages.”

Natália highlighted that the complete Qdenga vaccination schedule, with two doses, guarantees around 80% effectiveness and that the side effects, including in children, are small – especially when compared to those that a dengue infection can cause.

“With one dose, you generally have very mild immediate side effects and, within 10 days, some spots on the body or some pain in the body. Even so, there are few symptoms considering what dengue fever can cause in a child or adult.”

“While it was in the private network room, it was a vaccine that was costing, on average, R$400 to R$500. Today, the vaccine is available in the health center room for free. So I invite all parents to seek the vaccine with their children aged 10 to 11 as a matter of urgency,” she concluded.

Source: CNN Brasil

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