“We must vaccinate the entire population against covid again” | The USA Print

"We must vaccinate the entire population against covid again"

The epidemiologist and former director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Daniel Lopez Acuna demands vaccination against covid “to the entire population” this fall. “It’s not my idea, it’s a US CDC recommendation [la máxima autoridad sanitaria de Norteamérica]which asks to vaccinate from six months with adapted drugs to the omicron variant XBB.1.5″, López Acuña explains to this newspaper. In Catalonia, The Ministry of Health will begin vaccinating nursing home users against flu and covid at the end of this September. Starting October 15, it will do so health professionals, over 60 years old and to the vulnerable population or with risk factors. The rest of the communities will do the same and, for the moment, Spain has not issued recommendations to other population groups.

Other doctors believe that it is enough to protect risk groups because it does not increase hospital pressure and there are no vaccines adapted for everyone.

For now, only There are two vaccines approved by the EMA (European Medicines Agency) updated to subvariant XBB.1.5: that of Pfizer and Modern. “It is very clear covid rebound, given that herd immunity has dropped because the protection of previous vaccines has declined,” says this epidemiologist.

López Acuña warns that, in Spain, almost 35% of those over 60 years of age The fourth dose was not inoculated and, in addition, there is “almost 20 million people who did not even get a third dose.” “We have a significant population – some 20 or 25 million people– without adequate levels of protection. We need another dose of Pfizer or Spikevax [comercializada por Moderna]which are the ones that are adapted to the new variant”, think. Other doctors point out, however, that there will not be vaccines adapted for everyone.

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Together with other epidemiologists such as Alberto Infante Campos and Pepe Martínez Olmos, López Acuña has recently defended the vaccination of the entire population. The former WHO director believes that Spain should start “as soon as possible” to vaccinate to risk groups (over 60 years of age, immunosuppressed and nursing home residents) and “extend” immunization to “the entire population” throughout the fall and winter.

“The vaccine presentation and the public health commission [de Sanidad] They do not have a clear position on this matter, they simply They advanced the vaccination date one week, from October to September. But we must close ranks and each community must carry out an intensive campaign, as was done with the first dose, to apply the covid vaccine to everyone,” defends López Acuña. “We ask the authorities to make a call and that the fifth dose is as massive as the first”, Add.

Covid-19 infections have grown by 38% worldwide in the last month, according to the WHO

According to WHO figures, in the last month Covid infections have increased by 38% around the world. In Spain, the trend also continues to increase in primary care, although the majority are not serious cases. “We must not forget that 5% of those infected develop persistent covid,” says López Acuña.

“There’s no need”

However, other epidemiologists such as Salvador Peiro, researcher at the Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of the Valencian Community (Fisabio), do not see right now “no need” to vaccinate “more than to risk groups.” “There is two types of immunity. The one you generate against the infection by getting vaccinated or infected, which lasts about five or six months, and the one that protects you facing developing severe covid, which is still being maintained,” he explains.

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According to him, the fifth dose is not “necessary” for the general population because, despite the increase in the virus, the data hospitalization They are not worrying. “If there was a new variant or more young people hospitalized, Yes, it would change things,” estimates Peiró. “We don’t know very well how many people are getting infected. There are many people with covid around us, but I see it with relative calm. If nothing changes, there is no need to vaccinate under 60, unless you want to do labor protection, something that can make sense in some professions such as healthcare workers or firefighters,” he says.

The mask, necessary

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For Joan Caylà, member of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology, right now It is a “priority” to vaccinate risk groups, something that already involves pinching “many people.” And, later, I would be in favor of open vaccination to the entire population, something that epidemiologist Antoni Trilla also supports. “I think that, once this part of the vaccination is finished, it would be appropriate to leave open the possibility that whoever wants from the rest of the population can be vaccinated,” says Trilla. But, even so, as Caylà recalls, the prevention strategy It is not just about the vaccine: people at risk and those who are with them must use the vaccine. face mask in indoor spaces or risk of contagion.

The prevention strategy is not only about the vaccine, but also about using the mask with people at risk

Caylà recalls that, although vaccines adapted to the omicron subvariants are ideal, the WHO also recommends the use of others, such as Hipra, which are not updated but still present a degree of protection against the virus. “Are less effective, but they protect something. There are no vaccines adapted for everyone,” she warns.

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