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Meningitis C Vaccine for Babies Running Low in Brazil

07/27/2018 - 12h38

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NATÁLIA CANCIAN
BRASÍLIA

A report from the Brazilian Ministry of Health sent to the states points out that the country is in a "critical" supply situation regarding the meningococcal vaccine, recommended for babies in order to protect them against meningitis C.

The shortage has been occurring since April, when doses corresponding to only 58% of each state's monthly quota were distributed, but the situation has become worse in recent months –reaching 10% of the states' quota in May, 15% in June, and 36% this month. In view of the reduced shipping, state and municipal health departments in at least six states contacted by Folha admit that some health centers have already run out of vaccine.

That is the case of cities in Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, and Tocantins.

Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro have also been contacted and state their stocks are running low, but did not confirm if their health centers have run out of vaccine.

Eduardo Anizelli/ Folhapress
Parents have been struggling to find the vaccine
Parents have been struggling to find the vaccine

Since last Friday (20), the administrative assistant Patricia, who chose not to disclose her full name, has been trying to find the vaccine for her three-month old daughter in Araraquara's health units, in the countryside of São Paulo, with no luck. "Today [Wednesday], they said they have received only four doses, which have already been applied, and they asked me to call them on Monday."

According to her, the situation is cause for concern. "There is a major campaign for parents to properly vaccinate their children. We want to vaccinate them, but we can't. I'm sure the government won't be held accountable if, God forbid, my daughter catches a disease because she's not vaccinated."

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

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