Sunday, November 27, 2022

vaccines that come

Second generation COVID vaccines are already here. They are updated drugs against new forms, specifically against Omicron, which will improve the non-incompatible protection already provided by conventional vaccines, made from the original version, which is from Wuhan. A few days ago, the United Kingdom approved the first bivalent COVID-19 vaccine from American company Moderna, which is also effective against Omicron and its subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. It still needs to be authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Spain will begin giving a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine in the fall, and will begin with those over the age of 80. Pediatrician and vice president of the Spanish Association of Vaccinology (AEV), Fernando Moraga-Lope, believes that, by then, Spain will already have an updated modern vaccine. And, as well, Pfizer’s second generation, which, like Moderna, will be effective against Wuhan strains and BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. At the moment only Moderna is authorized, and only by the United Kingdom’s pharmaceutical agency. But there will be two more new vaccines. “Along with messenger RNA drugs (Pfizer and Moderna), there is another group of recombinant protein vaccines,” Moraga-Lopp says. Nuvaxovid, from the US laboratory Novamax, is authorized in Spain, from which “not much publicized, nor many doses have been purchased” because the health ministry will only inject it into people who have certain contraindications to other vaccines. “This vaccine, which has only the parental strain, the one from Wuhan, doesn’t make much sense in the vaccine strategy,” he says.

It is conceivable that Hipra, a Spanish vaccine developed in Catalonia, will also be available by autumn. This will be the first vaccine against Kovid manufactured in the European Union. “It, like Nuvaxovid, is a recombinant protein. But, in contrast, it is bivalent and will have two types: alpha and beta. It has been observed that it has a great immune response to all types, including Omicron”, Moraga- Description of omission. Studies suggest that a third dose of Hypra in people over the age of 16 who have already received two from Pfizer will have a “greater immune response” and “fewer side effects.” Finally, there will be another new vaccine, from Sanofi, which will carry the Wuhan and beta variants, but which will take longer to arrive. Moraga-Lopp believes the ones that arrive the earliest are the ones from Moderna and Pfizer, and Nuvaxovid and Hypra. However, the effectiveness of these new vaccines will depend on the supply.

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And the old ones?

Experience reminds us that production has its limits. In such a situation, doctors call for calm. “Newer vaccines are better, but not exceptionally better. Older vaccines continue to work”, explains Antoine Trilla, chief epidemiologist of preventive medicine at the Hospital Clinique de Barcelona. Trilla favors starting vaccination with the fourth dose when there is a “guaranteed supply”, even if it means starting “a little later”. “There is always the question of whether Moderna and Pfizer are going to supply their new vaccines on time. They are still manufacturing them, ”the epidemiologist warns.

Morga-Lop emphasizes the same idea as Trilla. “All the vaccines we have right now reduce the risk of serious disease. It is more important to get one than the type of vaccine,” says AEV’s vice president. He also stresses that, although it is important to take the fourth dose when the time comes, it is important to continue moving forward with the third dose. “In Spain more than 40% do not have it yet,” he remarked. These people who still haven’t had a third dose (many because they became infected with Omicron) can also get the new vaccine.

There is no trace of the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines in the entire vaccination plan. “The communications campaigns of both have, as a result of adverse effects, thrown them out of the game to Europe. I don’t think we will be vaccinated with them again,” says Trilla.

Like the previous two years, the next fall is unknown. As always, experts advise to exercise caution before the appearance of the new version. Nor do they rule out that Omicron infections will reoccur, despite the fact that many people have already been infected. Among other things, because re-infection is possible.

But, apart from this, with hardly any detection after two years, the flu is a cause for concern. “Australia, the region we see the most in the Southern Hemisphere, has had the flu. It has come even further than in the years before COVID-19,” Trilla says. He is also concerned about how energy-saving measures might affect the transmission of respiratory diseases in general. “We have to shut down more houses. They are going to be less ventilated and the risk of infection will be higher”, predicts this epidemiologist. After crossing the equator, August, September and autumn begin to appear out of the corner of the eye.

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40.5 million Spaniards already have full guidelines

In Spain, more than 40.6 million people (85.7% of the population) already have a full schedule of a COVID vaccine. In Galicia, 2.4 million, 99% of its census. A booster dose (the third) has been injected into 25.8 million people (54%), of whom 1.9 million are Galicians. This is reflected in data from the Ministry of Health, which in December 2020, along with communities, launched a vaccination campaign against the coronavirus, a disease that has claimed 111,906 lives. The vaccine that has been injected the most in Spain is from Pfizer BioNTech (a pediatric version for ages 5 to 12 has also been launched), followed by Moderna and Astra Zeneca/Oxford. The fourth and last place is occupied by Janssen, of which only one dose is required. About half of the children (45.4% with a complete diet) have been supplied with pediatric fluids. The children’s campaign began a year after the adults, according to age groups: in December 2021. The community most compliant with Serum is La Rioja, with 97% of its neighbors over the age of 12, and adherence to the guidelines. by Galicia and Extremadura. Throughout Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are autonomous regions, with minimum rates of completion guidelines being 82% and 84%, respectively. Across the European Union, the overall guideline reaches 72.80% of the population. The segment of the population most vaccinated with booster doses is between 60 and 69 years (93%), followed by those over 70 (92%). The least number of people who visited the third dose injection centers were young people between the ages of 18 and 19 (30%).

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