Society

After decades, polio once again becomes a threat to Brazil

Vaccine coverage is falling across Brazil, at the same time that the online anti-vaccine movement has gotten stronger

polio vaccination anti-vax
Brazil’s Health Ministry last week organized a “D-Day” for children’s vaccination. Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ABr

Brazil’s Health Ministry last week organized a “D-Day” for its newest polio vaccination campaign. The objective is to vaccinate 95 percent of children aged 1 to 5 by September 9 — but reaching that goal is very unlikely. 

Vaccination rates — and not only for polio — have been declining for years, and some experts understand disinformation is at least partially to blame.

Government data shows that 2015 was the last year in which Brazil reached its 95 percent polio vaccination coverage goal. In 2021, the coverage dipped below 70 percent for the first time.

Brazil has not registered polio...

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