Infectious diseases and the COVID-19 scenario in Brazil


Braz J Infect Dis




ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of non-vaccination against influenza among Brazilian older adults with systemic arterial hypertension and determine the main reasons for non-adherence. A cross-sectional study was conducted using data from older adults (≥ 60 years of age) with hypertension who participated in the 2013 National Health Survey and reported not having been vaccinated against flu over the previous 12 months (n = 1,295). The analyses were performed using the Stata 14.0 software. The data were weighted because of the sampling design. An estimated 3,026,080 older adults with hypertension had not received a flu vaccine over the 12 months prior to the survey (22.6%). No significant associations were found with sex, age group or schooling. The prevalence of unvaccinated older adults was lower in the southern and southeastern regions of Brazil than in the northern and northeastern regions, even after adjusting for age. The prevalence was higher among individuals without private health insurance. The main reasons for non-vaccination were fear of a reaction, rarely having the flu and not believing in the protection of the vaccine. The present findings underscore the need for healthcare professionals to explain to the population the benefits of the vaccine for preventing severe influenza (protective effect and possible reactions) and for secondary prevention of cardiovascular events. Increasing the prevalence of vaccination in older adults with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases is of fundamental importance within the realm of public health as a strategy for reducing occurrences of complications and deaths associated with influenza.

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