Brazil wants to immunize over 9 mi young people against measles

The initiative focuses on 20–29-year-olds

Published in 18/11/2019 - 19:07 By Pedro Ivo Oliveira - Brasília

Focusing on 20–29-year-olds, Brazil’s Health Ministry started today (Nov. 18) the second stage of its national campaign against measles. Some 9.4 million Brazilians are estimated to make up this age group.

“In this age range, young people usually don’t go to health care stations, because they’re usually not sick, so we have to adopt a different strategy for them,” said acting Health Minister João Gabbardo.

The campaign received investments adding up to $1.6 million and aims to see at least 9 million people immunized.

Cases and vectors

The latest official figures show that people in this age group make up the majority of measles cases reported—some 30.6 percent of the total cases of the disease in Brazil this year. They are also the biggest potential vectors of the illness.

Sanitation Secretary Wanderson de Oliveira stressed that even young people who believe they took the vaccine years ago should go and have their dose brought up-to-date.

D Day

The second phase of the program ends on November 30, the D Day for the vaccination against measles. Efforts will focus on covering the highest possible amount of people. Pregnant women within the age range, however, should not be vaccinated as the immunization is effected by means of an enfeebled version of the virus, which could harm the baby.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nádia Franco / Augusto Queiroz

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