UFMG hosts Brazilian congress that discusses strategies to increase vaccination coverage


Fernanda Penido Matozinhos vaccinates her daughter Lara against Covid-19
Photo: Disclosure School of Nursing/UFMG

Brazil has one of the most complete immunization programs in the world, offering 19 vaccines that cover more than 40 diseases, which has allowed the country to achieve a progressive reduction in incidence rates and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles. , polio and whooping cough. However, the reduction in vaccination coverage rates in recent years compromises collective immunity and causes the risk of resurgence of diseases previously controlled or eradicated in the country.

With the aim of discussing strategies to reverse this scenario, 650 people, including representatives from the Ministry of Health, the State Department of Health, Fiocruz, municipal health councils and the Council of Municipal Health Secretaries, as well as researchers, teachers and students will gather at the Brazilian Congress: defense of vaccination – challenges and strategies, which will be held this Tuesday, 21st, and Wednesday, 22nd, in the Nobre Auditorium of the Center for Didactic Activities 1 (CAD 1), on the Pampulha campus of UFMG.

The drop in vaccination coverage is the result of a complex process, impacted by social, cultural, environmental, political and economic factors, which may have worsened with the covid-19 pandemic, increasing the national risk of circulation of diseases preventable by vaccination, as explained by professor Fernanda Penido Matozinhos, coordinator of the Vaccination Studies and Research Center (Nupesv), at the UFMG School of Nursing, and organizer of the Congress.

“In general, the drop in vaccination coverage is influenced by several factors, such as the precariousness of the Unified Health System (SUS), the inconsistency in the availability of immunobiologicals in Primary Health Care services, the implementation of the new immunization information system (SI-PNI), the introduction, in a short period of time, of several vaccines in the vaccination calendar, in addition to anti-vaccine movements and cultural and social factors that affect the acceptance of vaccination”, lists the researcher.

Minas Gerais, which has a vaccination coverage rate close to that of the pre-pandemic period, according to the State’s undersecretary of health surveillance, Eduardo Campos Prodoscimi, also follows the country in facing different challenges.

“The government of Minas has sought to increase the pact with municipalities in favor of increasing vaccination coverage and reducing the difference between current vaccination coverage and the targets recommended by the PNI. The challenges include offering qualified information to the population, to combat misinformation and fake news, as well as generating complete and reliable data so that municipal managers are able to draw up efficient strategies to increase vaccination coverage”, says the undersecretary.

According to him, the partnership with the University, since 2021, has generated positive results in this regard and, in the short and medium term, it is expected that the State will have data on vaccination coverage for all age groups.

Action research

In 2021, research Strategies for increasing vaccination coverage in children under two years of age and adolescents in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil: an action research revealed that more than 80% of 212 municipalities surveyed were classified as “high and very high risk” for the transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases in children up to two years of age. The research is being developed by Nupesv, in partnership with the Superintendence of Epidemiological Surveillance of the State Department of Health of Minas Gerais (SES-MG).

The following year, in 2022, after the interventions implemented, this “high and very high risk” classification was reduced to 68.40% of the 212 municipalities involved. Professor Fernanda Matozinhos explains that the action research that, in 2023, reached the adolescent public, makes it possible to understand the vaccination practices of professionals who carry out immunization actions and contributes to the organization of vaccination rooms and the improvement of logistics. It also promotes the training of human resources, the improvement of immunization work processes and the awareness of professionals and municipal managers to encourage strategic partnerships to regain vaccination coverage.

In Eduardo Prodoscimi’s assessment, different strategies are necessary to achieve the PNI goals, such as facilitating access for the population of workers and students to immunization agents, through vaccination outside health units, such as squares and events, in addition to adherence the bonus program that rewards municipalities that reach 80% of schools and daycare centers and the call for the acquisition of vacimóveis (vans adapted for vaccination).

Successful experiences

During the Congress, which is an offshoot of this partnership, the best experiences from eight municipalities in Minas Gerais aimed at increasing vaccination coverage will be presented and awarded.

The public, coming from 130 municipalities in Minas Gerais and 14 other states, will be able to attend debate tables and the exhibition of dozens of scientific works. “The Congress is a fundamental initiative to involve different audiences in sharing ideas and experiences and in the search for mobilization strategies that guide society on the great pact in favor of vaccination coverage”, says Eduardo Prodoscimi.

At the opening conference, at 10:30 am, the director of the National Immunization Program (PNI) of the Ministry of Health, Eder Gatti, will outline an overview of the initiative, which turns 50 this year, and the immunization scenario in Minas Gerais.

Before that, at 9 am, the dean Sandra Regina Goulart Almeida, the president of the Minas Gerais Health Council, Lourdes Machado, the director of the UFMG School of Nursing, professor Sônia Maria Soares, the event coordinator, will participate in the opening table. , professor Fernanda Penido Matozinhos, the head of the Department of Maternal and Child Nursing and Public Health at the School of Nursing, professor Ed Wilson Rodrigues Vieira, and the coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Nursing at UFMG, professor Kleyde Ventura de Souza.

Vaccination Research and Studies Observatory

Professor Fernanda Matozinhos adds that, during the Congress, the launch of the Vaccination Research and Studies Observatory (Opesv) will also take place, which expands the scope of Nupesv’s activities. The change was approved by the Departmental Chamber and Congregation of the School of Nursing, by the Dean of Research at UFMG and by CNPq.

“The idea is that the Observatory promotes unprecedented advances in the analysis of socio-ecological determinants associated with vaccination coverage, which will make it possible to provide the scientific evidence necessary for the continuous improvement of the PNI, in addition to including a greater range of individuals and contributing to the generalization of results , becoming of great interest for research and for the area of ​​Nursing and other areas of knowledge” he states.

The professor, who has been carrying out research on the subject since 2016 at the Department of Maternal and Child Nursing and Public Health, says that there was a research gap in the area, which motivated her to create Nupesv, in 2019. Since then, the Center has developed collaborative studies with the Local Health Unit of Matosinhos (ULSM), in Portugal, with the Ministry of Health and the State Department of Health of Minas Gerais, as well as managers and professional nurses from public and private health institutions in health centers Saúde Guarani and Nova Vista and the hospitals Sofia Feldman, Risoleta Tolentino Neves, Júlia Kubitschek, IAG Saúde and Santa Rita.

“Our objective is to analyze the socio-ecological determinants associated with vaccination coverage and establish an action plan, aiming to improve indicators during different life cycles (children, adolescents, pregnant women and the elderly). We will consider studies that use national and international databases and investigate the association between variables in bivariate, stratified analyzes and multivariate models, including multilevel modeling and spatial distribution, in addition to a systematic review of studies with meta-analysis, mixed methods studies (considering the framework defined for hesitation research) and action-intervention”, reports Fernanda Matozinhos.

Nupesv team, from the UFMG School of Nursing
Photo: Disclosure School of Nursing/UFMG

The researcher adds that the Observatory will expand Nupesv’s work proposal, especially with regard to the training of human resources, interinstitutional coordination and the transfer of knowledge to society, based on the discussion of data with health professionals and managers and the generation of robust scientific evidence on the topic.

“There are numerous responsibilities of the multidisciplinary team in the context of vaccination, especially the professional nurse. And, currently, we need strong, correct and scientific communication with the population that is capable of going beyond the academic and professional environment. Effective communication, which needs to use new narrative formats to combat misinformation. This is, without a doubt, another very important role for professionals in vaccination”, concludes the coordinator.

Teresa Sanches – UFMG Communication Center

The article is in Portuguese

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