Every year, the Ministry of Health launches the National Vaccination Campaign, offering free vaccination to the population at risk. But that does not mean that anyone who does not fit into the categories should not be vaccinated.
In fact, the ideal is that all people receive the immunizer , as this considerably reduces the circulation of the virus and the illness of the population. However, those who are not in the priority groups can only receive the dosage if they purchase from the private network.
In general, it takes between 2 and 3 weeks for the body to be immunized against the flu, with the duration of protection remaining from 6 to 12 months – so it is necessary to repeat the application every year.
Who can get the vaccine?
In 2020, the target audience for the flu campaign was greater than in other years. It is worth remembering that each group should check the vaccination schedule to find out when they will be able to receive the immunizer free of charge.
According to the Ministry of Health, the following groups should be vaccinated:
- People between 55 and 59 years old;
- Elderly people over 60 years old;
- Children between 6 months and 6 years old incomplete (5 years, 11 months and 29 days);
- Pregnant women and women who gave birth in the last 45 days (puerperal women);
- People working in the health field;
- Teachers from public and private schools;
- Indigenous people;
- People who have chronic illnesses;
- Adolescents and young people between 12 and 21 years of age who are under socio-educational measures;
- People in deprivation of liberty;
- People who work in the prison system;
- Professionals from security and rescue forces (such as the police or fire brigade).
What are the chronic diseases that make up the vaccination calendar?
In 2020, people with a chronic illness will receive the flu vaccine from the following list:
- Chronic respiratory diseases (eg, asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis, interstitial lung diseases; bronchopulmonary dysplasia);
- Chronic heart diseases (such as hypertension, heart failure, ischemic heart disease);
- Chronic neurological diseases (the conditions of each patient with stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and others must be considered)
- Chronic liver diseases (such as hepatitis, cirrhosis)
- Transplants of solid organs or bone marrow;
- Chronic kidney disease (kidney disease in stages 3,4 and 5, nephrotic syndrome, patient on dialysis);
- Immunosuppression (congenital or acquired, due to diseases or medications);
- Trisomies (such as Down’s, Klinefelter’s, Wakany’s syndromes, among others).
It is worth remembering that, just as people within the vaccination age group must bring an identification document to prove it, people with any chronic illness must bring a medical declaration or prescription of medications to prove the condition.
Why was the flu vaccination campaign in 2020 anticipated?
In 2020, the Ministry of Health’s flu vaccination campaign was brought forward. It usually takes place in the second half of April, but this year it started on March 23.
And there’s a good reason: the coronavirus pandemic . It is worth remembering that the flu vaccine does not protect against the new coronavirus , but it has an important role in reducing risks.
This is because, on average, the immune system of the vaccinated person is better protected against other different influenza viruses, which can lower immunity and favor contagion by coronavirus.
In addition, with fewer sick people, there is less need to go to hospitals and clinics. But if there are symptoms of viral infections, it is easier to rule out diseases and get to the diagnosis quickly.
Does the H1N1 vaccine protect against the coronavirus?
No. It is very important to know that the H1N1 vaccine does not directly protect against the coronavirus. That is, the person is not immunized against him.
However, indirectly, it can help protect the organism. This is because people with the flu have lower immunity, which makes them more susceptible to Covid-19. In addition, any respiratory disease or infection would be aggravating in cases of coronavirus infection, which could have more serious outcomes.
Another important factor for the population to be vaccinated is that the flu takes many people to hospitals every year, even with severe cases, going to death. With a reduction in illnesses, hospitals are less overburdened.
Considering that, at this moment, the health system is in a complicated state, with a lack of beds and care in several states, the ideal is not to need hospital care.
And yet, if vaccinated people show flu-related symptoms, it becomes easier to rule out some possibilities. This helps in a faster diagnosis, since the symptoms can be very similar in many cases.
What is the vaccination schedule?
It is worth mentioning that it is necessary to check the start dates and availability of vaccines in each city or state. It is also necessary to check whether cities are adopting escalation measures – that is, dividing each group into smaller groups.
They must occur within the period stipulated by the Ministry of Health, which is:
The first phase of the campaign started on March 23 and was aimed at immunizing elderly people aged 60 or over, in addition to people working in the health field.
As of April 16 , professionals from the security and rescue forces, people with chronic diseases, truck drivers, public transport drivers and port workers began to receive the vaccine.
From 9 to 22 May , the groups are:
- Children from 6 months to under 6 years old;
- Pregnant women;
- Postpartum mothers;
- Indigenous population;
- People between 55 and 59 years old;
- Disabled people;