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New Issue | Vaccines

About the Souvenir Sheet

The postage stamps are applied on the colors of the national flag. The first stamp is focusing on doctor Edward Jenner, a pioneer of the vaccine concept, inoculating a child. The word comes from the Latin vaccinus, which means “derived from the cow”, represented by a milker and a cow. The second postage stamp has illustrations of several vials, ampoules, and syringe, representing the various vaccines available in the “PNI - National Immunization Program”. The second row stamp shows the girls and boys vaccination booklet, the infant vaccination calendar and a mother holding her baby. Next to it, a family admiring gloved hands preparing a syringe for vaccination. In the last row, the postage stamp on the left illustrates an immunization made with a jet injector, similar to the one used at the time, and an elderly couple who refer the population that benefited from the effects of the vaccine in combating and eradicating smallpox. And finally, the polio vaccination print, with a child receiving the droplet from the hands of a health professional, and two young people also benefited from previous vaccination campaigns. The technique used was computer graphics.


Vaccines are in first place among the ten greatest achievements in public health of the twentieth century. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccination is responsible for avoiding about 2.5 million deaths per year, a figure that could be even higher if global vaccination coverage rates were reached. To celebrate the historical importance of vaccines and encourage vaccination of the Brazilian population, Correios launched Commemorative Postage Stamps on the theme Vaccines.

1798 - Edward Jenner develops the smallpox vaccine

Edward Jenner (1749-1823) is known worldwide in the history of vaccines for his innovative contribution to immunization against smallpox, which culminated in the subsequent eradication of the disease, declared by the WHO in 1980. His work was the basis of modern immunology, because it represented the first scientific proof that it is possible to control an infectious disease from vaccination. The English doctor was the first to suggest the application of cowpox to confer immunity against human smallpox, a crossprotection, since they are viruses of the same family, considered innovative for that time.

PNI - National Immunization Program

Brazil has a public health system with universal and free access, the Unified Health System (SUS), which promotes and offers the population different types of vaccines and immunobiologicals. The Brazilian National Immunization Program (PNI) was created in 1973 and since then, it has made efforts to protect the population against infectious diseases. In 2023, the PNI completes 50 years as an international public policy reference, and now faces the challenge of regaining high vaccination coverage in the national territory.

Vaccination Booklet

The vaccination booklet is one of the most important documents for health, presenting a set of guidelines and vaccines specific to each age group, whether premature, child (0 to < 10 years), adolescent (10 to 19 years), adult (20 to 59 years) or elderly (≥ 60 years). The basic national vaccination calendar is defined by the PNI and corresponds to the set of vaccines considered of priority interest to the country’s public health. Currently (2022) it consists of 19 vaccines recommended to the population, from birth to old age and distributed free of charge in the vaccination stations of the public health network distributed throughout Brazil.

Vaccination a right of all

WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. Access to health, in this context, including access to vaccination, basic sanitation, housing, work, leisure and food are rights of the entire Brazilian population. Vaccinating is not only an individual decision, but a collective responsibility between the individual and society, with their rights and duties; also including health professionals, responsible for taking care of their health and their patients; the different levels of government spheres with disease prevention and vaccination campaigns; and the vaccine producing industries, by providing a safe and effective product.

Eradication of smallpox

Human smallpox was a viral disease transmitted by respiratory droplets that plagued humanity for three thousand years. Initially, it caused high fever, malaise, headache, back pain and severe fatigue, and later evolved into the rashes on the body, causing itching and pain. It is estimated that there were about 300 million deaths from human smallpox cases in the twentieth century.

Vaccination campaigns to eradicate human smallpox were initiated by WHO in 1967 in a worldwide effort. At first, vaccination was carried out using a bifurcated needle, which was then replaced by a jet injector, which made mass vaccination possible. Although efficient, there was a concern that the device could carry other blood-borne viruses, such as hepatitis C and HIV, and so it was discontinued. But it is a historic testament to the victory over a disease with a major impact on public health. Vaccination in modern times is carried out using disposable syringes and needles, safely and effectively.

National polio vaccination and multivaccination campaign

Brazil was a pioneer in strategies such as mass vaccination campaigns in a country with a large territorial extension, with a consolidated structure considered a model by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). National vaccination campaigns rely on the organization of vaccination operations in several states through the mobilization of local resources. Originally designed to combat smallpox, after its eradication it began to have as its main objective the vaccination against poliomyelitis and the maintenance of a vaccination coverage of 95% in the age group of children under 5 years of age, values that have been declining since 2016. In the 1990s, multivaccination was introduced, with the expansion of the campaign to other vaccines, with the goal of reducing the number of unvaccinated children and adolescents under 15 years of age and improving vaccination coverage according to the national vaccination calendar.

WHO states that the covid-19 pandemic has reduced vaccination coverage to the lowest level in the last 30 years, influenced by different issues such as the growth of misinformation, armed conflicts, among others, causing difficulty in accessing immunization. Among the health challenges for the next century, the main ones are to intensify efforts to resume high vaccination coverage, combat misinformation and increase confidence in vaccines, reducing vaccine hesitation.

Dr. Natalia Maria Lanzarini - Oswaldo Cruz Institute - Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Dr. Jorlan Fernandes de Jesus - Oswaldo Cruz Institute - Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Dr. Akira Homma - Bio-Manguinhos - Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Dr. Elba Regina Sampaio de Lemos - Oswaldo Cruz Institute - Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Technical Details

Stamp issue N. 19

Art: Alan Magalhães

Print system: offset

Paper: gummed chalky paper

Souvenir sheet with 6 stamps

Facial value: 1st class rate for domestic

mail (each stamp)

Issue: 14,000 souvenir sheets

Design area: 44 x 26mm

Stamp dimensions: 44 x 26mm

Souvenir sheet dimensons: 120 x 100mm

Perforation: 11 X 11.5

Date of issue: November 22nd, 2022

Place of issue: Rio de Janeiro/RJ

Printing: Brazilian Mint

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