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Anti-Yellow Fever Campaign to Vaccinate 19 Million in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia

01/10/2018 - 10h36

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NATÁLIA CANCIAN
FROM BRASÍLIA

In an attempt to contain the proliferation of the yellow fever virus in Brazil, starting in February, approximately 19.7 million people are expected to get vaccinated against the disease in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia.

The timetable and the campaign's new strategy, which will contemplate 75 municipalities, were released by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday (the 9th). The goal is to avoid the proliferation of the disease in areas that hadn't yet recommended taking the yellow fever vaccine.

"It is a precautionary measure, designed to offer vaccine coverage to people in areas where the virus has not yet circulated. The vaccines will be diluted, ensuring that quick coverage can be offered in a short period of time", said Health Minister, Ricardo Barros.

In order to achieve this, the idea is to offer doses of the vaccine that are one-fifth of the standard dose. According to Barros, studies show that, in an eight-year span, the effects of diluted doses are comparable to the full dose. The measure would also enable the country to keep a stock of vaccines.

Ever since July of last year - when the government declared that the worst wild yellow fever outbreak registered since 1980 had passed - 11 new cases have been confirmed: four fatalities in São Paulo, which registered a total of eight cases, and the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and the Federal District each presented one case of the disease.

Another 92 suspected cases of the disease are being looked into.

The campaign is expected to last fifteen days. The shorter campaign period is part of a strategy to concentrate vaccinations.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Leonardo Benassatto/Reuters
State Endemics Control health agents collect samples of mosquitoes causing yellow fever at Anhanguera park in Sao Paulo, Brazil
State Endemics Control health agents collect samples of mosquitoes causing yellow fever at Anhanguera park in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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