Coronavirus Pushes Ministry of Health to Launch Flu Vaccination

Campaign launch was set at the end of April, but is rescheduled for March 23

Alfredo Henrique Fábio Munhoz
São Paulo

The Ministry of Health plans to launch a flu vaccination campaign on March 23 because of the coronavirus. Brazil announced its first case last Wednesday (26). The patient is a 61-year-old businessman who was in Italy between the 9th and the 21st of February. The campaign's initial date was scheduled for the end of April.

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta announced the campaign on Thursday afternoon (27) in a press conference with the governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB).

The Ministry of Health Luiz Henrique Mandetta (Foto: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress, PODER) - Folhapress

“We will launch the campaign because this vaccine [against the flu] provides coverage and leaves the immune system 80% protected against strains of influenza viruses, thousands of times more common than the coronavirus,” Mandetta said.

The minister said that if the person is vaccinated, it is easier for health professionals to diagnose the type of virus that a patient may have contracted. "If the person warns that it was a vaccine [against the flu], it helps in professional reasoning, for [the doctor] to think about other viruses."

Mandetta also said that the campaign will not be limited to people over 60.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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