Society

Vaccination rates hit 20-year low in Brazil. But anti-vax movements are not to blame

None of the federal government's mandatory vaccines for children reached the 90-percent coverage target in 2020, with researchers blaming the trend on the underfunding of public health

vaccination Polio vaccine campaign in Salvador, Bahia. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock
Polio vaccine campaign in Salvador, Bahia. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock

In 2020, amid the deadliest health crisis in Brazil’s modern history, “vaccines” was the word on everyone’s lips. But while the population clamored for coronavirus jabs, the country’s coverage rate for basic inoculations reached its lowest level in decades.

Public health data compiled by Fiquem Sabendo, an agency specializing in access to information, show that vaccination of infants up to two years of age fell to its lowest rate in over 20 years in 2020. None of the main obligatory vaccines reached the federal government’s 90 percent target. Only the pneumococcal VPC-10 jab — which prevents pneumonia, meningitis, and ear...

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