Of the more than three million (3,181,253) users registered on the RN + Vacina platform, only 19% received the second booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. For the first booster dose, the platform accounts for 54% of the vaccinated population. The indices point to a scenario of decline in vaccine adherence as new doses become available.
The first booster dose, also called the third dose, has been released in the metropolitan region of Natal, for people aged 18 and over, since December 2021. The second booster dose has been available for the same public since July 2022. thus, the downward trend in adherence to booster doses remains. The infectious disease preceptor of the ISD, Carolina Damásio, emphasizes that the benefits of complete vaccination go beyond the maintenance of the individual’s well-being and health, and that its absence brings broader problems, related to the community.
“From an individual point of view, not taking booster doses can mean an increased risk of complications, the need for hospitalization and even death. In hospitals, most hospitalized patients had not been vaccinated or had not completed the vaccination cycle. For the community, the lower the number of immunized people, the greater the chance of the virus circulating, the greater the risk for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and patients with low defenses. New variants can also emerge”, explains the preceptor.
In some cities in Brazil, vaccination has reached the stage of providing the third booster dose, or fifth dose, for people with a high degree of immunosuppression. Data from the RN + Vaccine, however, show that more than 230,000 potiguares still have their second dose delayed, that is, the basic vaccination schedule is incomplete.
Infectologist Carolina Damásio analyzes that the delay or lack of adherence to vaccination, whether in the second dose or in booster doses, can be attributed to several factors. One of them is the high frequency of the need to take complementary doses. In the near future, this add-on should continue to exist for some groups.
“The booster dose should remain for risk groups, as with the flu. However, a second generation of vaccines is being developed, with the aim of combating the new variants, which may result in longer-lasting immunity”, adds Carolina.
In addition, the infectious disease specialist points out factors related to the pandemic itself, such as pandemic fatigue, a term used by the World Health Organization to designate the tiredness and mental exhaustion collectively faced in the last two years, in addition to public disinformation, facilitated by virtual communication intensified during the pandemic.
“There are several reasons, such as insecurity regarding the side effects, the misconception about the severity of the disease and the need for vaccination, disseminated by social media, and the lack of confidence in the vaccine, as occurs, for example, with vaccination. child,” he explains.
Vaccination coverage in RN
It is not only in the vaccination against Covid-19 that low rates of vaccine coverage are observed in the state. According to data previously analyzed by the ISD, since 2018 Rio Grande do Norte has not reached the vaccination coverage target for any of the routine vaccines indicated for children up to one year of age.
In the metropolitan region of Natal, children aged 3 to 5 years can now be vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine against Covid-19, as recommended by the Ministry of Health. For children aged 5 to 11 years, the vaccination schedule started in January this year. The public in the age group of 12 to 17 years can already receive the first booster dose, or third dose, since the month of May.
With information from the ISD