Taking the booster dose and keeping the vaccination schedule complete and up to date helps save lives. The statement is from Mônica Levi, director of the Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm).
“Every place had a drop in immunity over time after immunization. And they saw that this drop was even steeper when you considered the variants appearing,” he said.
“This forced us to institute the life-saving booster shots. People who are properly vaccinated, with two doses plus the booster, and who are catching covid-19, are having mild forms. At most moderate. But they are not hospitalized, intubated or dying. This is indisputable. This occurs all over the world,” she added.
In an interview with Brazil Agency, Mônica recalled that the current vaccines were not developed for the variants of the new coronavirus, but for that original virus, the first identified in Wuhan, China. Despite this, these vaccines continue to provide good protection against the disease. “These are vaccines that have maintained their main role, which is to prevent serious forms and deaths, regardless of the variants”, she observed.
For her, people need to remember that the world faced very difficult times in the pandemic, with the hospitalization and death of millions of people. And that it’s not over yet. Therefore, care and vaccination must remain a constant. “People have short memories. Not long ago, we were fighting for beds, running after oxygen to use in those who needed it and dying. We were in a public health collapse, living in a horrible situation. And why don’t people remember that anymore? The pandemic is not over yet. We have the circulation of these variants, mainly BA.4 and BA.5. There is a slight increase in cases, we are having a new peak”, highlighted the director of SBIm.
For her, campaigns to encourage people to expand vaccination schedules are lacking. And not just against covid-19.
“I think that first there was a lack of a more effective communication campaign. This logistical difficulty too. You don’t know which post will be open, which vaccine they will give you there. There has been a lack of communication with the population since the beginning of covid-19,” she warned. “Now is the time for us to increase this coverage to the third and fourth doses, that is, the first and second boosters, and people have to be motivated”, he reinforced.
For Mônica, people should continue to be vaccinated not only against covid-19, but also updating the vaccination booklet for other diseases. After all, she says, vaccination is also a collective act of caring for others.
“The vaccine goes far beyond protecting you against diseases, it protects society. Low vaccination coverage is putting us at real risk. New York had a case of polio this week. We had in Israel, another [caso] in England, in some African countries. We have very low polio coverage, and if we don’t go back to vaccinating like before, we’re going to have polio and measles again. It’s not a joke: we need everyone to play their role as a citizen and also have responsibility towards others. The decision not to get vaccinated hits other people too,” he said.
“Any civilized society understands that the collective interest prevails over the rights of individual choices. Vaccination is a collective act,” she noted.
Almost six million people failed to complete their vaccination schedule against covid-19 in Rio Grande do Sul, reveals a survey released this week by the government of Rio Grande do Sul. In São Paulo, about 2.4 million people have not even taken the second dose of immunization and another 19.4 million people are already fit, but have not returned to the posts to take the booster doses. Last month, the government of Rio de Janeiro pointed to six million absentees over the age of 18 who had not received any booster doses in the state.
Failure to complete the vaccination schedule is to put yourself at risk. With the covid-19 virus still in high circulation in Brazil, taking the booster doses available in health systems means strengthening levels of protection against the disease, including against the subvariants of Ômicron, which already account for the majority of confirmed cases. in the country.
A survey carried out by Instituto Todos pela Saúde and released on the 21st shows that the probable cases of Covid-19 caused by the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of Ômicron – and which caused several countries to present a new increase in cases – already represent the almost all occurrences identified in Brazil (96.9%).
“Everyone who is entitled to additional doses of available immunizers; those who have not yet taken any dose should look for vaccination posts as soon as possible: vaccination booster is essential to face the current epidemiological scenario and reduce health impacts”, reinforced the institute on social media.
The vaccine against covid-19 provides the immune system with tools so that it can identify and fight the virus, working as a reinforcement for the human body’s natural defenses. And, when taking booster doses, this protection increases. This is what a study conducted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) Minas pointed out. He also demonstrated that this protection tends to decrease after six months of application of the dose, but when taking the additional dose, this protection begins to reestablish itself again.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News