Poliomyelitis has reappeared in Israel and a new strain has also been recorded in Malawi, in southeastern Africa. The data should not worry Brazil, where the last case of poliomyelitis was detected in 1989 and which has had an eradication certificate since 1994.
However, the country actually has a “high risk of reintroduction” of the disease. Polio vaccination coverage has increased from 96.55% in 2012 to 67.71% in 2021, considering the first three doses of the vaccine, which are applied in the first year of a child’s life.
The first dose of polio vaccine is given from 2 months, with two more doses at 4 and 6 months, in addition to the first booster between 15 and 18 months and the second booster between 4 and 5 years, according to the Brazilian Vaccination Society. (SBIM).
All doses combined, vaccination coverage was 96.55% in 2012. In 2021, it fell to 59.37%. The lowest was the booster dose given at age 4: only 52.51% of children received this dose last year, according to data calculated in DataSUS up to March 6.
“A 3-year-old girl has been diagnosed with wild polio in Malawi, the first case in Africa in 5 years. Brazil is one of the 6 countries in the Americas at high risk of reintroduction of poliomyelitis, in our case due to the decline in vaccination coverage, “warns infectiologist Gerson Salvador, of the University Teaching Hospital of Sao Paulo (USP). He recalled that in 2015, polio vaccination coverage in Brazil approached 100%.
From 2016, there was a “vertiginous fall”. Since 2014, polio vaccination coverage in Brazil has been below 95%, considered the goal of protection against the disease, says Isabela Ballalai, a pediatrician and vice president of the Brazilian Vaccination Society (SBIm). For the doctor, “Brazil has several risk factors for poliomyelitis. The most recent is low vaccination coverage,” he says. G1