Brazil Starts World’s Largest Mass Vaccination Against Polio

The Brazilian Ministry of Health’s goal for this year’s vaccination campaign against poliomyelitis, which causes infantile paralysis, is to vaccinate 17.3 million children 5 years old or less.

States and municipalities across the country will participate in the first phase of the campaign, tomorrow, June 11. The slogan of this year’s campaign is “Win one more, Brazil,” a reference to the victories that Brazil has already achieved in soccer and mass vaccination campaigns.


The fight against polio in Brazil is commemorating its 25th anniversary this year. The last reported case of the disease in the country occurred in 1989.


In 1994 the American continent received a certificate from the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring that the disease had been eradicated.


Even so, the coordinator of the National Immunizations Program, Luiza de Marilac Barbosa, explains that it is necessary to take the vaccine, since the disease has not been eradicated in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Eastern Mediterranean.


US$ 11.6 million (R$ 28.8 million) will be spent in the first phase of the campaign for the acquisition of 27.9 million doses of Sabin vaccine, the operationalization of the campaign, and publicity.


To vaccinate all the children, 117 thousand teams composed of government employees and volunteers will work from 8 am to 5 pm at health posts throughout the country.


The publicity campaign chosen for 2005 draws its inspiration from soccer and identifies the success of the vaccination strategy to the effort of the Brazilian population.


The publicity materials present children in soccer uniforms urging all children 5 years old or less to be vaccinated.


At least 39 thousand cars and 2.5 thousand boats will be responsible for transporting the vaccination teams around the country, including remote areas, such as municipalities in the Amazon region.


Brazil’s vaccination campaigns are considered the world’s largest mobilizations in the area of public health.


Agência Brasil

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