Why girls and boys should get an extra dose of polio and measles, mumps and rubella vaccines

September 25, 2022 1:58 pm | Reading time: 3 minutes
September 25, 2022 1:58 pm
| Reading time: 3 minutes

If you only have a few seconds, read these lines:

  • From October 1 to November 13, girls and boys aged 13 months to 4 years should receive an additional dose of the triple viral vaccines (measles, rubella and mumps) and poliomyelitis, beyond the doses received so far.
  • This is due to the high risk of re-introduction of these diseases as the 3 viruses continue to circulate in other countries of the region and the rest of the world.
  • There is also a decline in vaccination coverage, which has worsened due to the pandemic. It is estimated that there are more than 700 thousand susceptible children.

The nation’s Ministry of Health launched this week the National Measles, Rubella, Mumps and Polio Vaccination Campaign 2022. From October 1 to November 13, all girls and boys aged 13 months to 4 years inclusive should receive an additional dose from the triple viral vaccines (against measles, rubella and mumps) and IPV (against poliomyelitis), beyond the doses previously received.

The additional doses are free, mandatory and co-administered with the vaccine against COVID-19 and with any other vaccine from the National Calendar. Vaccination will be carried out in all centers and hospitals in the country and no medical order is required.

In this note, we tell you why girls and boys should get an extra dose of these vaccines and what the situation is with measles, rubella, mumps and polio in Argentina and around the world.

Epidemiological signal

It’s Argentina free from circulating wild poliovirus since 1984 and no endemic cases of measles since 2000 or rubella or congenital rubella syndrome since 2009. Since then, however, the risk of re-introduction has been constant The 3 viruses continue to circulate in other countries of the region and the rest of the world.

“With the circulation that exists in the world and globalization, the risk of an imported case and then an outbreak is high. In fact, we recently had an important case of measles and the corresponding blocking actions were carried out,” Health Minister Carla Vizzotti said during a press conference she attended. checked.

Indeed, on July 2 last year, ANLIS-Malbrán confirmed case of measles: a 2-year-old girl living in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Vicente López, who has been in touch with a relative who recently returned from a trip to Europe and Africa. Thanks to the focus control actions (contact tracing) there were no more cases.

It should be remembered that in the period 2017-2019 there were more than 40 thousand cases of measles in 18 countries of the Americas, 93% of them in Brazil and Venezuela, so the region is no longer considered measles-free. In addition, significant outbreaks of the disease have been reported in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Based on poliomyelitisOn September 9 of last year, Cathy Hochul, the governor of the state of New York, announced that “disaster emergency” due to a polio outbreak which included a case of acute flaccid paralysis in an unvaccinated adult, but also a widespread spread of poliovirus in sewage from several counties in the state.

Although many countries are polio-free thanks to vaccination, the disease has not been eradicated worldwide. In fact, transmission remains endemic (a constant presence in an area) in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

Low vaccination coverage

In addition to the international situation and the risk of re-introduction of measles, rubella and poliomyelitis, there is reduction in vaccination coverage due to the pandemicas we have in this note.

In children under 1 year of age, vaccination coverage has been below 90% against polio since 2016. And in 2020, 160,000 boys and girls under the age of 1 did not receive the full primary scheme, according to UNICEF and the Argentine Society. Pediatrics.

While in 2016 coverage with the first dose of measles vaccine was 90.6%, by 2020 coverage with the first dose was 77.3%, and the second dose of 71.4%, according to data from the ministry. Although this can be considered a consequence of the isolation, in 2021 there is almost no recovery of these rates: coverage of the first dose remains at 77.2% and of the second at 78.2%.

“Over time, among children who have not been vaccinated and those who do not have an adequate immune response, susceptibility accumulates, and when a number like what we have today reaches or exceeds the number of live births per year considered to be at high risk of an outbreak’ Vizzotti explained.

He added: “This usually happens every 4 years and that’s why we run these campaigns on administration of additional doses to quickly reduce the risk of susceptible.

According to the Ministry’s calculations from the last Monitoring Campaign (2018) against measles, rubella and mumps 713 thousand children between 1 and 4 years are susceptible.

“All these factors determine a high risk of outbreaks, both of measles, rubella and mumps, and of poliomyelitis; That’s why it’s key for the population to get their children vaccinated,” said Juan Manuel Castelli, Undersecretary for Health Strategy of the Ministry of Health.

It should be remembered that vaccination is the only tool available to prevent these diseases. The national vaccination schedule includes protection against measles, rubella and mumps through a triple virus vaccination for girls and boys aged 12 months and 5 years. For protection against polio, establish three doses at 2, 4 and 6 months and a booster at 5 years.

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