Opinion – Maternal: Premature babies should follow the vaccination schedule based on their chronological age


Since January 2021, there has been an exclusive immunization schedule for premature babies, indicated by the Brazilian Society of Immunizations.

Available in the SUS, with the exception of the meningococcal B vaccine, the acellular combined vaccines provide more comfort, since in a single bite the patient receives protection against more diseases.

“Personalized protection for premature infants is necessary because these babies are more susceptible to infections”, explains Lilian Sadeck, from the Neonatal Center of the Children’s Institute at Hospital das Clínicas.

“Maternal antibodies pass from the mother to the fetus from the 30th, 32nd week and increase progressively. Therefore, those born before 34 weeks have less biological protection. In addition, some of these children are unable to receive breastfeeding and become even more vulnerable”, says the neonatologist.

According to Sonia Faria, from the CRIE (Reference Center for Special Immunobiologicals) in Santa Catarina, vaccination of premature infants should follow the chronological age and not the corrected one.

Premature infants take an extra dose of hepatitis B [com 12 horas de vida, 2 meses, 4 meses e 6 meses] and BCG should only be applied after the child weighs 2 kilos.

“We waited this time not because of the adverse effects, but because there are technical limitations, as premature babies below this weight have less dermal tissue and this makes administration difficult. Preterm infants respond well to vaccines and can be vaccinated as long as they are clinically stable and there is no contraindication”, says Sonia.


In Brazil, it is estimated that each year 340,000 babies are born prematurely, according to the Ministry of Health. In 2019, 11% of live births in Brazil were premature; in 2020, 11.31%; and, in 2021, 12.19%.

Premature birth is now the leading global cause of under-5 child mortality.

Premature or preterm babies are those born before 36 weeks and six days of gestation. The classification is divided into late preterm (34 to 36 weeks and six days), moderate preterm (from 32 to 33 weeks and six days), very preterm (28 to 31 weeks and six days) or preterm. extreme term (less than 28 weeks).

The specialists participated in the Purple November Webinar: importance of vaccination in premature infants, promoted by Sanofi.

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