Fiocruz Minas studies the effects of the vaccine on children and adolescents

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The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) unit in Minas Gerais coordinates the Immunity Study, which will monitor, over time, the response generated by the vaccine against covid-19 in children and adolescents. In the study, Fiocruz Minas has a partnership with the Butantan Institute, the Faculty of Medicine of São José do Rio Preto (Famerp), the Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo and municipal health secretariats in Belo Horizonte and Serrana (SP).

According to Fiocruz, the research, which will contribute to the definition of guidelines related to vaccination against covid-19 for children and adolescents, will last one year and six months.

According to the study coordinator, Rafaella Fortini, the effectiveness and safety of vaccines have already been approved by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). The study will allow details on the protective immune response generated by the vaccine and how this response remains over time. “To do this, we analyzed the levels of total antibodies and neutralizing antibodies, those capable of effectively neutralizing the coronavirus, including circulating variants of concern. In addition, we will detail the cellular response generated by the vaccine, in order to understand the protective response in a broad and complete way in children and adolescents”, said the researcher.

Volunteers are recruited when families take children and adolescents – between 5 and 17 years old – to be vaccinated in Belo Horizonte and the metropolitan region and in the municipality of Serrana. Information about the research and clarification of doubts that may arise before the volunteer joins are provided by Fiocruz and Butantan teams at the immunization sites themselves. Monitoring begins with the authorization of those responsible and also of those vaccinated.

Rafaella informed that the monitoring of the volunteers will cover the entire period of the study and that, in case of symptoms of covid-19, a medical team will assess the need to carry out the collection. [para o teste] in swab. “Next, we make the diagnosis by [teste de] PCR If positive, the virus is sequenced to define the variants that cause post-vaccine infection. In addition, we monitor possible adverse effects that may occur,” he explained.

Monthly monitoring of volunteers is done by telephone. There are five face-to-face contacts: one on the day of vaccination and the following after one month, three months, six months and one year, all from the second dose of vaccine.

According to Fiocruz, in Belo Horizonte and the metropolitan region, the responses generated by the CoronaVac and Pfizer vaccines, immunizers that are being applied in the target age group of the study, are being evaluated. “In Serrana, the CoronaVac is evaluated exclusively, which, as in the rest of the country, is applied to people over 6 years of age.”

The Immunita Study does similar research in vaccinated adults. The survey with the public over 18 years old began in January of last year and will last for two years.

“The information generated by the research will support decision-making, helping Anvisa and the Ministry of Health to define the need for booster doses and also the frequency for all age groups. They will also help to define guidelines to be adopted by the National Immunization Program”, said Rafaella Fortini.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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