Brazil to vaccinate entire population against yellow fever

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Brasilia, Feb 23 (IANS) Brazilian Health Minister Ricardo Barros has proposed to vaccinate the entire country against yellow fever, after the disease emerged in new areas.

The recommendation will now be discussed with international organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

At the start of February, vaccination efforts began in states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, seeking to immunize 19.7 million people against yellow fever, for which cases have been rising since last year, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to Barros on Thursday, if the government approves the idea, separate programs will take place in each state of the country.

Barros added that the vaccination campaign should be rolled out gradually, according to the capacity of each state.

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Certain northeastern and southern regions of the country have not seen campaigns so far, as there have been no outbreaks of yellow fever there.

Thirty four million people need to be vaccinated there, with 23 million in the northeast and 11 million in the south of the country.

A plant belonging to Libbs Farmaceutica in Sao Paulo is currently about to begin production of 4 million doses of vaccine a month.

From July 1, 2017 to February 20, 2018, Brazil has confirmed 545 cases of yellow fever, with 164 deaths. A further 1,773 suspected cases have been noted, with 685 having been eliminated and 422 still under investigation.

–IANS

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