Minsal calls for "reassessing trips" to areas with yellow fever due to lack of vaccines


"The recommendation is to reassess the trip, consider this with your doctor regarding the area for which it is directed and whether or not it is convenient to travel," said Undersecretary of Public Health, Jorge Hübner, on the decision to be made by Chileans who, due to lack of inventory, were unable to get the yellow fever vaccine and planned to spend their holidays in areas where the disease is present.

Last year, there were three Chileans who in Brazil contracted the disease that transmits the mosquito Aedes Aegypti and that has no treatment. As a result of the bite, two of them died, prompting experts to bend their requests for prevention.

"The final decision is taken by the traveler, but our recommendation is that this disease has no treatment, so prevention is the best tool and this is the vaccine. There we need to educate the population and take precautions to prevent the trip ending in a tragedy, "said Jeanette Dabanch, an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital das Clínicas in U. Chile.

And in the current context, the testimonies of Chileans who have been forced to suspend their plans are beginning to increase. This is the case of María José Véliz, who decided two weeks ago to postpone a trip to Tairona National Park, located in northern Colombia after the impossibility of obtaining a vaccine, a requirement imposed by the site.

"I looked at her and she was exhausted everywhere.The only thing I found were hours available for the end of February.This did not work for me because it has to be administered 10 days before the trip and I was traveling on the second week of February, "he said.

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Active yellow fever outbreaks on the south coast of Brazil and in several countries in Africa and Asia have generated a high demand for international immunization. And to control the disease, several measures have been implemented: there are countries that require tourists to be vaccinated to cross their borders, while in other nations with active outbreaks, vaccination is recommended to prevent infections.

In Chile, after the shares were discontinued at the end of 2018, the Sanofi Pasteur Laboratory – in charge of manufacturing and distributing the vaccine – released 48,000 new doses of Stamaril this month, of which 70% have already been distributed.

According to the company, another 10,000 units are being delivered for different vaccinations, which have already exhausted their agendas to immunize the interested parties. They are travelers with passages to countries where the mosquito is present and applies the requirement – Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, among others – or those in which the recommendation was made, as prevention, such as the Amazon area of ​​South America and several areas of Brazil, a frequent destination for Chileans on this date.

But at this point, getting a dose – ranging in value from $ 55,000 to $ 87,000 – is complex.

From Las Condes clinic indicate that there are no vaccines available and that people are being vaccinated who asked for their time until February 8, with a total of 120 patients per day. They indicated that, once they ensure the availability of new doses, they will open an agenda for February.

At UC Christus Network they are exhausted, while at Clínica Alemana they are attending patients who booked in January and do not know when there will be new places. "The vaccine is currently being given yellow fever doses previously scheduled. When the stock is renewed, a new schedule will be made through the call center."

Hübner added that people who are not vaccinated on time and can not postpone or decide to do so should "use repellent against the mosquito that transmits the disease and wear clothing that covers most of the body." the sting ".


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