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Health Care Ministry Wants to Dilute Vaccine to Increase Doses against Yellow Fever in Brazil

03/31/2017 - 12h08

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NATÁLIA CANCIAN
GUSTAVO URIBE
FROM BRASÍLIA

The Brazilian Ministry of Health Care is looking into the possibility of diluting the doses of the vaccine against yellow fever to meet the increasing demand for immunization in the country.

"[If we adopt the measure], the ampoule that currently has ten doses will be added to diluents and the number of doses will increase," says Health Care Minister Ricardo Barros.

One dose could become up to five doses. Minister Barros says that another possibility under analysis is to import new doses from international producers.

The goal is to increase the stocks and doses of vaccine available this year - the vaccine is indicated for those who live in or intend to travel to regions where immunization against yellow fever is recommended.

Questioned, Minster Barros says there is no shortage of vaccines for the regions facing higher risks of an outbreak.

Although it is still a possibility, the decision to dilute the vaccine is facing resistance. One of the reasons is the duration of the protection - Minster Barros says that, once the vaccine is diluted, the dose would be effective for only one year. In the current model, the protection is extended - after the first dose, the second is recommended only after ten years.

The Health Care Ministry is analyzing the possibility of offering the common dose, undiluted, for children, pregnant women and elderly people (after a medical evaluation in risk areas) as well as people travelling abroad. Others would receive the diluted vaccine.

The diluting model has been adopted by countries such as Angola, which faced a yellow fever outbreak in 2015, and is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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