Vaccination carries a small risk of serious side effects, but may rise or fall according to its characteristics. Who should take the injection?
In São Paulo, three people have died from serious adverse reactions to the yellow fever vaccine since January 2017, according to the State Health Department’s latest report . All were adults less than 60 years of age and no records of previous illnesses – and six more are being investigated. But why this happen?
Following the application of the immunizer, mild symptoms such as muscle aches, headache and fever are relatively common. It is also possible for redness, swelling and heat to occur at the injection site.
The most serious side effect, which occurred with the confirmed deaths in São Paulo, is the acute viscerotrophic disease . See: the yellow fever vaccine is made with the virus attenuated (it is alive, but very weak). Once administered, the body produces antibodies that protect against disease.
However, in rare situations, the body can not contain the multiplication of the virus inserted by the vaccine. The consequences can progress to renal, hepatic and cardiac insufficiency, coagulation problems, fulminant hepatitis and death. According to the State Department of Health of São Paulo, the medical literature indicates a death for every 450 thousand doses applied.
The risk of serious adverse reactions, therefore, is minimal. But if the possibility of contact with yellow fever is zero, there is no need to get vaccinated. ” In urban areas, where there is no transmission , there is no reason to expose the population to an unnecessary risk,” warns the secretary.
If the subject lives in an area of risk or intends to move to one, then the vaccine enters the scene. Especially in times of upheaval of the population, avoiding unnecessary visits to health posts saves time, patience and doses of the vaccine for those who really need it.
It is important, however, to point out that certain groups are more likely to suffer from the serious side effects of the immunizing agent. Examples: elderly people, HIV patients, transplant patients , pregnant women or people with certain autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus …) should consult their physician before going to the clinic to check their own health status and see if the benefit outweighs the risk .
Already women breastfeeding, children under 6 months, severe allergic to eggs and patients on chemotherapy, for example, should not take the vaccine.