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Primary health care is essential for Covid vaccination coverage, says study

Primary health has played a key role in expanding vaccine coverage against Covid-19 in the poorest Brazilian municipalities, said doctor and researcher at Fiocruz Fernando Bozza, in an interview with CNN Radio.

The expert coordinated the research published this week in the journal The Lancet Regional Health America what indicates the inequality in vaccination between Brazilian municipalities with a lower Human Development Index (HDI) and those with a higher HDI.

The study notes, however, that low HDI cities with a greater presence of primary health care fared better than those without investment in such care.

The survey evaluated the first six months of vaccination in Brazil, between January and August 2021. Altogether, the researchers analyzed the dynamics of vaccination coverage in the adult population in more than 5,000 municipalities in the country. The study is part of a project called Effect Brazil which aims to study the effectiveness of vaccination in the country.

“Often, we look at the Covid issue thinking about ICU and hospital beds. But these actions that take place in the community at the primary care level are as or more important than beds to ensure control of the pandemic”, says the doctor.

Bozza explains that the investment in primary care, with the construction of health units and the hiring of community agents, brings the health system closer to the population, especially the poorest.

The analysis points out that direct communication with citizens builds a long-term relationship of trust in the health system, which allows for the advancement of vaccination.

“The person goes to the health center since childhood, meets their community agent, who talks and explains the importance of vaccination”, explains the doctor.

For the Fiocruz researcher, Brazil did not take advantage of the capillarity of the Unified Health System (SUS) in the fight against the coronavirus, and some municipalities did not have enough primary care professionals or health units.

Bozza points out that the result of the lack of investment is a general drop in vaccination not only against Covid-19, but also against other diseases that had been eradicated, such as measles.

*Under the supervision of Joyce Murasaki of CNN

Source: CNN Brasil

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