Photo: Marcelo Camargo/Agence Brasil
Your browser does not support HTML5 audio
This year, between January and August, there were 3,441 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the deadliest form of Covid-19, and 84 deaths of children under one year old. Therefore, at the end of October, the Ministry of Health announced the inclusion of the COVID-19 vaccine for this population in the national calendar. Vaccination against the disease is now mandatory for children aged 6 months to under 5 years in Brazil.
In this age group, the vaccination schedule will include three doses administered 4 weeks apart between the first and second doses; And 8 weeks from the second dose to the third dose.
Infectious disease specialist Clarissa Cerqueira explains the importance of starting immunization in this range. “It was implemented so that we can start reducing the risk of Covid transmission at an earlier age, especially in this population where contact is closer and who also represent an age group at risk of some complications,” he says.
She also stresses that the vaccination schedule will be unique and that those who complete the three doses this year will not need to repeat them in 2024. “Only children with comorbidities or who are immunocompromised will need to take the booster dose,” she adds.
The Department of Health also recognizes indigenous children as a priority population; River side. Quilombola. Those living in long-term care facilities and are homeless, groups evaluated by the Coronavirus Immunization Technical Advisory Board (CTAI) and the Program for National Immunization (PNI).
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that countries prioritize vaccinating populations at risk of contracting the disease. In addition to Brazil, more than 60 countries have approved childhood vaccination as of the end of 2021.
Miguel Nascimento is currently 7 years old, but he took his first dose when he was 5 years old. His sister, college student Verena Veloso, speaks about the importance of this inclusion. “It’s not just about protecting you or our family, getting vaccinated is a collective pact for the greater good of society, and getting the vaccine on the calendar is a very important step for us to preserve lives,” he comments.
So far, 30,312,379 doses of the bivalent vaccine have been administered in the country. In total, since the beginning of the pandemic, 37,994,356 cases of the disease and 706,986 deaths have been recorded.
“Writer. Analyst. Avid travel maven. Devoted twitter guru. Unapologetic pop culture expert. General zombie enthusiast.”