Impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the children’s immunization program in the Federal District, Brazil
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Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Fiocruz Ceará, Eusébio, Ceará, Brazil
Health Department of the Government of the Federal District
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A2061
Background and Objective:
Vaccination is an integrated action, experienced mainly in the scope of Primary Health Care (PHC) in Brazil, where vaccines are provided free of charge in the Unified Health System. Vaccination significantly reduces morbidity and mortality rates due to preventable diseases. While social distancing measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic were crucial to prevent the spreading of the disease, evidence has indicated that they impaired access to health services, including vaccination. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s vaccination coverage in the Federal District, Brazil.

This is a descriptive, retrospective epidemiological study whose data were collected through the public domain generic tabulator (TABNET), developed by the information management department of the unified health system (DATASUS) for information management and through the Information System of the National Immunization Program (SI-PNI WEB). The search included vaccination data on children aged up to 05 years from July 2018 to June 2021 in the Federal District of Brazil.

Over the covered period, 3,010,938 vaccine doses were registered, prevailing the following pentavalent (320,195), pneumococcal 10 (319,651), and meningococcal C (316,696). The second half of 2018 had the highest number of administered doses (550,320). Vaccination coverage fell progressively in 2019 (494,869 doses from January to June and 460,665 from July to December), rising again in 2020 (510,458 doses from January to June and 533,156 from July to December). However, in the first half of 2021, the number of administered doses dropped again to 461,147. Of note, this period was marked by both pro- and anti- COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, which may have interfered with adherence to immunization.

Vaccination coverage varied irregularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, further research is required to investigate the causes associated with this phenomenon.