We will only know the protection of the third dose over time, says former president of Anvisa

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It is not yet possible to know exactly how long the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will guarantee effective protection against the disease, said the former president of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), Gonzalo Vecina, in an interview with CNN.

“It is a new disease and we are continuously learning. We learned that three months after vaccination, there is a drop in the amount of antibodies in the body. So, in order for us to remain protected, we have to take the booster dose. We hope that she will protect us for a long time, but we will only know how long as time passes. For this disease we have to be humble, always learning and correcting inadequacies so that we can continue to be protected”, he explains.

For him, Brazil failed to make clear the importance of vaccination for the population. “In the experience in Serrana and Botucatu (in the interior of SP), everyone came together, 97% of the population was vaccinated. What is needed to vaccinate more people is communication. The big problem with this campaign is that the Brazilian state did not communicate with society, it was the press that spoke about the doses and it was fundamental”, he adds.

He cites how the country pioneered immunization in other times. “In previous vaccination campaigns, we managed to give 12 million vaccines to children on a Saturday, communicating, calling their parents. In this health crisis, the government thinks it doesn’t have money, it doesn’t need to communicate. Why would a person take the first dose and not the second, knowing there are two doses? Lack of communication.”

Some factors differentiate the dissemination of coronavirus in Brazil and Europe, compares Vecina. “There is a certain resistance there in going beyond the 70% of vaccinees that I don’t see in Brazil. And unfortunately we had the Gamma variant, which was extremely deadly. We had about 200,000 deaths, today we have 600,000 – 400,000 came from the Gamma variant. Europe is having the Delta variant, they didn’t have the Gamma.”

The sanitarist gives his vision of why Delta does not have the same action here as in other countries. “She is all over Brazil, but she is not producing the sanitary disaster there. Apparently whoever owned the Gamma is protected against Delta. So we have two protections: having had the Gama and having been vaccinated, that’s the difference between us and Europe. The only fear is that a new variant will appear.”

Reference: CNN Brasil

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