Brazil changes law regarding female voluntary sterilization
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed into law the bill lowering from 25 to 21 years the minimum age for voluntary sterilization, also allowing women to undergo the procedure right after giving birth, it was published Monday in the Diário Oficial da União (Official Gazette).
The new wording of the Family Planning Law strikes the need for express consent from both spouses for sterilization.
According to the new text, the minimum age is not required for those who already have at least two living children. The law maintains the minimum period of 60 days between the manifestation of the will and sterilization through a surgical procedure but now allows women to be sterilized during childbirth.
The text also guarantees the offer of any method and technique of contraception within 30 days.
Currently, Ordinance 48/99 of the Ministry of Health, which regulates the law, prohibits sterilization during periods of childbirth, abortion, or until the 42nd day of postpartum or abortion, except in cases of proven need.
The new law will come into force 180 days after publication.
In a separate public healthcare event, Brazilian authorities reported that only 34.4% of children in the country were vaccinated against polio, amid an ongoing immunization campaign ending in less than a week.
The Health Ministry sought to reach 95% of the target population of 11.5 million children. However, more than half of them, 7.5 million, have not yet received the polio vaccine.
This is a worldwide problem. Vaccination coverage has been falling. During the pandemic, this drop was more accentuated given the health tragedy resulting from the pandemic of covid-19. The strategy we use is this: to talk to the Brazilian population and clarify the importance of the vaccines in our vaccination calendar, especially for children, said Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga, when the campaign was launched in August.
Even with the end of the campaign this coming Friday, vaccination is still available all year round nationwide. Brazil is considered a polio-free country since 1994, but with the low vaccination compliance, doctors warn about the risks of the disease’s return, especially after new cases were registered in countries like the United States and Israel.
Only two Brazilian States have managed to vaccinate more than half of the target population: Alagoas (50.8%) and Sergipe (50.5%), followed by Santa Catarina (47.6%) and Paraíba (46.6%).
Among the states with the lowest number of children vaccinated against polio were Roraima (12.8%), Acre (17%), and Rio de Janeiro (17.1%).
In addition to VIP (Inactivated Polio Vaccine), 17 other vaccines are available for children and adolescents up to 15 years of age: Vaccines from the National Vaccination Calendar, available for updating are: Hepatitis A and B, Penta (DTP/Hib/Hep B), Pneumococcal 10 valent, HRV (Human Rotavirus Vaccine), Meningococcal C (conjugate), OPV (Oral Poliomyelitis Vaccine), yellow fever, triple viral (Measles, Rubella, Mumps), Tetraviral (Measles, Rubella, Mumps, Varicella), DTP (triple bacterial), Varicella, and quadrivalent HPV (Human Papillomavirus).
Also available for teenagers are HPV, dT (double adult), yellow fever, triple viral, hepatitis B, dTpa, and meningococcal ACWY (conjugated) vaccines. All immunizers that are part of the National Immunization Program (PNI) are safe and are registered by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).
The polio vaccination campaign coincides with the ongoing immunization against COVID-19, which can be administered simultaneously or at any interval with the others in the National Calendar to people aged 3 years or older.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)