Yesterday, the nation’s Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, presided over the launch of the national measles, rubella, mumps and polio vaccination campaign for girls and boys aged 13 months to 4 years at the Tecnópolis Friendly Vaccine Center.
The launch was also attended by the Adviser on Health Surveillance, Prevention and Disease Control of the representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Argentina, Wilmer Marquinho.
The campaign runs until November 13 across the country with the aim of maintaining the country’s achieved elimination of measles, rubella, congenital rubella, poliomyelitis and mumps control.
In this regard, the head of the national health portfolio indicated that “we need to make the campaign visible, so that all families who have children between 13 months and 4 years inclusive (that is, 4 years, 11 months and 29 days) ) know that we have these 6 weeks to give two additional doses of the triple viral (measles, rubella and mumps) and the polio vaccine. They are two injections with additional doses, that is, they should be given regardless of the availability of a vaccination schedule per day,” said he.
Vizzotti added that “we need to reach 95 percent of girls and boys, who are 2,300,000, to achieve sufficient vaccination coverage to maintain the elimination of measles, congenital rubella syndrome and poliomyelitis and to continue working to control mumps . Families can go to any public vaccination center,” said the minister, giving an account of the long work that has begun with this great goal.
And this is that the goal of the subsequent campaigns that take place every four years is precisely to achieve these high coverage rates in 100% of the provinces and departments in a homogeneous way with the application of the aforementioned additional doses to a national schedule of the triple vaccine virus (SRP) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) typical of the national vaccination schedule.
In fact, the minister commented that “in this way we want to ensure that all girls and all boys who have not been vaccinated, and the small percentage of girls and boys who have been vaccinated and have not responded, can with these doses have protection and with this protection that is generated to avoid outbreaks if someone comes from somewhere with circulation. The idea is to maintain vaccination between the first dose given a year and the booster at school entry,” he concluded.
“Argentina is one of 33 of the 35 countries in the Americas that maintains a measles-free status thanks to the National Calendar and the campaigns that take place regularly as a follow-up campaign that includes additional doses regardless of the calendar vaccines (in this case 12 months and 5 years as backup),” explained Juan Manuel Castelli, Undersecretary for Health Strategies.
In fact, Argentina has been free of wild poliovirus circulation since 1984 and has had no endemic cases of measles since 2000, nor of rubella or congenital rubella syndrome since 2009, but the risk of reintroduction is constant because the three the virus continues to circulate in other countries of the region and the rest of the world, generating a high risk of importation of cases.
Likewise, given the risk of reintroduction of polio, it is also appropriate to include the polio vaccine in the National Monitoring Campaign, given that it will target the same target population.
In this sense, Marquinho emphasized that “supporting vaccination campaigns is one of the strategies that the organization strongly promotes”.
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.
Since the last campaign in 2018, 713,000 children aged 1 to 4 have been receptive. This shows the need for a new campaign to give a second chance to the population that did not have access to vaccination or did not have an immune response to the administered dose.
The nation’s Ministry of Health provides vaccines, disposables and cards to public and private health services to ensure that vaccination against measles, rubella, mumps and poliomyelitis is free and compulsory for all target populations, regardless of the origin of these vaccines before or suffering from the diseases.
Protecting girls and boys by vaccinating with an additional dose of the triple viral and polio vaccine is a strategy that has been proven to be effective and safe and reinforces the importance of maintaining vaccination as a priority health policy with a strong impact on population health.
The launch of the campaign was attended by Fabian Puratic, Undersecretary for System Integration; Juliana Finkelstein, Director of Prenatal and Child Health; Marcello Bellone, National Director of Life Course Approach; Teresa Strela, National Director of Communicable Disease Control.