Boosting Covid-19 Vaccination Rates: Strategies to Encourage Immunization and Prevent Outbreaks

2023-07-07 09:00:33

SUBSCRIBERS EXCLUSIVE

It was raised at the meeting of health ministers from across the country. They fear that a new outbreak will catch poorly immunized people because many do not apply the reinforcements.

“Front of probability of increase in virus circulation SARS-CoV-2which adds to the seasonal behavior of the influenza virus, the population was urged to update the booster dose application against Covid-19 and place special emphasis on the opportunity to co-administer vaccines against influenza and Covid-19 as the main strategy in prioritized groups, remembering that the protection conferred by vaccination it is not immediatebut it requires at least 14 days to generate adequate protection.

The government is running out of resources to get people to get vaccinated. And he took advantage of a new meeting of the Federal Health Council (Cofesa) to focus on this issue, which was reported in the official statement after the debate that summoned the ministers of Health from all over the country.

Strictly speaking, the Covid never finished going. In the Government they believe that there has been an erroneous communication of this situation and consequently the will to vaccinate suffered. It is also true that the number of cases registered per week it is low. It is also true that active immunization has helped make this the case. And it is also true that to be protected you have to get vaccinated before that a new outbreak could occur.

The official concern It is because people are not applying the corresponding booster doses, provided for in the new vaccination scheme. There are public campaigns to expand coverage both with the Covid vaccine and with others, but the figures continue to be under of what is expected.

Minister Carla Vizzotti confirmed at the meeting this Thursday the good news that there is “a decrease in cases of respiratory syncytial virus”, but at the same time he focused on the Covid by ensuring that “the perception of risk decreased”. This explains, the authorities believe, why a high percentage of the population has not received any booster vaccine for more than 6 months.

A meeting of the Federal Health Council headed by Minister Carla Vizzotti.

The guide to know what to do

The new vaccination plan against Covid outlined by the Ministry of Health after declaring the end of the health emergency divided the population into three groups and for each set a different scheme:

1- High risk of serious illness: people 50 years or older, people with immunocompromised and pregnant people. Booster dose at 6 months (regardless of the number of boosters) and continue with this periodicity.

2- Intermediate risk of serious disease: under 50 years of age with non-immunosuppressive comorbidities (chronic diseases and obesity). Health personnel and strategic personnel. Booster dose at 6 months and continue with annual booster.

3- Low risk of serious disease: under 50 years without comorbidities. Annual booster dose.

The number of vaccines against Covid that are applied per day in the country decreased almost half since the WHO declared the end of the pandemic. The low demand for doses by the population means that there is a stock distributed in the provinces, without applying, of about 12 million doses.

Those over the age of 50 should be vaccinated every 6 months. Photo: Luciano Thieberger

In this scenario, sources from laboratories supplying the vaccines assured that so far this year there were no new purchase ordersprecisely because of the drop in demand. Apparently, in the Government they fear that the doses that are in stock will expire.

However, that deadline – after which vaccines must be discarded – over time has been expanding more and more, when it has been scientifically verified that the stability of the product continues beyond the initial hypotheses. These reports are submitted to the ANMAT periodically.

One of the unknowns of these months -which in the post-pandemic becomes more difficult to elucidate- is what virus treats what is presented as a influenza table, in a context of few tests and many symptoms that end up being resolved at home. Hence the importance of update reinforcements against Covid.

On the other hand, the flu vaccine also shows low coverage values. The data released at the Cofesa meeting indicate that until July 3, it was applied to the 67,12% of health personnel and 34,63% of the pregnant Also, the 40,76% of boys 6 months to 2 years old have the first dose and only the 30,9% the full scheme with the second dose.

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