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After years of decline, Brazil sees vaccination coverage rise in 2023

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q668 (Published 02 April 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q668
  1. Rodrigo de Oliveira Andrade, freelance journalist
  1. São Paulo, Brazil
  1. rodrigo.oliandrade{at}gmail.com

Rodrigo de Oliveira Andrade looks at the reasons for the fall in coverage and what the country has done to counter it

Brazil has been gradually reversing the downward trend in childhood immunisation. Coverage for eight childhood vaccines increased in 2023 compared with 2022, according to preliminary data from the Ministry of Health.1

Hepatitis A vaccination coverage rose from 73% to 79.5% between 2022 and 2023, while the first pneumococcal booster increased from 71.5% to 78%. Polio vaccine reached coverage of 74.6%, compared with 67.1% in 2022. Among the vaccines recommended for children under 1 year of age, yellow fever showed the greatest growth in uptake, rising from 60.6% in 2022 to 67.3% in 2023.1

The most notable improvement, however, was for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates, which had been falling since 2014. In 2023, coverage rose to 83.1%, compared with 63.9% in 2022.

The numbers represent a reversal of the fall in vaccination rates that Brazil has faced since 2016. “That’s really great news, even though coverage still hasn’t reached the target of 95% at the national level,” Tércia Moreira da Silva, a researcher at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), told The BMJ.

This increase in vaccine coverage results from a multistrategic plan adopted by the Ministry of Health in early 2023. It included the creation of a nationwide campaign aiming to increase rates of vaccination coverage among children and adults; standardisation of the rules for registration of …

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