The last case of wild poliovirus infection in Brazil was in 1989. This virus is the cause of Poliomyelitis, also called polio or infantile paralysis, an acute contagious disease that can infect children and adults and leave important sequelae.
The disease can cause mild symptoms, such as a common cold, to serious problems in the nervous system, such as irreversible paralysis, especially in children under five years of age and, in more severe cases, it can lead to death. Infectologist Joana D’arc warns:
“Polio is a disease that was considered serious because some people who became infected developed a sudden form of lower limb paralysis. Through the vaccine, we ended up eradicating this disease, which is a huge gain for our society, but the virus still circulates in some countries and can be reintroduced if we don’t vaccinate our children. ”
The country was certified polio-free in 1994, but the low vaccination coverage in recent years worries health experts. In 2021, the percentage was below 70%, and the ideal is that 95% of children under five are vaccinated.
Knowing the risks of poliomyelitis, the doctor Fabia soon provided the vaccine for her 2-year-old son. She appeals to parents and guardians to do the same:
“To parents who are afraid, who are afraid of exposing their child to a vaccine, I urge you to read it, to seek information in trusted places. There is no reason to be afraid, to be afraid to vaccinate, since vaccination is a protection. Vaccination will provide this child with a healthy development.”
The SUS offers two vaccines for immunization against Poliomyelitis: the inactivated one, which should be applied to babies at 2, 4 and 6 months of age; and the attenuated one, the droplet that should be applied at 15 months (first booster) and 4 years of age (second booster).
To achieve vaccination coverage of 95% of children vaccinated in 2022, the National Campaign for Vaccination against Poliomyelitis and Multivaccination mobilizes the whole of society to take the little ones to the vaccination posts until September 9. It is also an opportunity to update the vaccination booklet of adolescents under 15 years of age.
About 40 thousand vaccination rooms across the country provide vaccines against Polio. This is an opportunity to update vaccination records, protect children and adolescents and control vaccine-preventable diseases.