Brazil Vaccination Coverage Rate Plummets and Opens a Gap for Outbreaks of Preventable Diseases

The biggest fall was in the hepatitis B vaccine in children up to 30 days old, shows study on nine vaccines

With the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine coverage in Brazil, which had already been declining in recent years, plummeted further in 2020, increasing the risk of new outbreaks of preventable diseases.

An unprecedented analysis by the Institute for Health Policy Studies, based on data from the Ministry of Health updated up to April 4, shows that less than half of Brazilian municipalities reached the target established by the PNI (National Immunization Plan ) for nine vaccines, including those that protect against hepatitis, polio, tuberculosis and measles.

Except the pentavalent (against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type B), all others showed a worrying drop in coverage. The data may still change because there is a delay in notifications from some municipalities.

The biggest reduction, of 16 percentage points, was in the vaccine coverage against hepatitis B in children up to 30 days old. From 2019 to 2020, it dropped from 78.6% to 62.8%.

The BCG (against tuberculosis) and triple viral first dose (against measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccines were reduced by about 14 and 15 percentage points, respectively.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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