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Brazil yellow fever vaccine campaign struggling to meet goal

February 15, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2018 file photo, a boy cries as he receives a vaccine against yellow fever at a public health center in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Brazil’s Health Ministry said Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, a massive yellow fever vaccination campaign has reached less than 20 percent of the targeted population since it began three weeks ago. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s Health Ministry says a massive yellow fever vaccination campaign has reached less than 20 percent of the targeted population since it began three weeks ago.

Authorities have confirmed 407 cases in the current outbreak, including in areas not previously considered at risk. Of those, 118 have died.

The campaign aims to vaccinate more than 20 million people in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states. But just 3.95 million people have been vaccinated so far.

The ministry said Thursday that Rio has decided to continue its campaign. It did not say for how long.

Sao Paulo will decide whether to continue its campaign after a “mobilization day” on Saturday that it hopes will draw many people to health centers to be vaccinated.

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