Article | Where is the third dose of the vaccine?

In recent days, there has been a heated debate about the need for a third dose of the vaccine against covid-19. Several studies show that the immunity promoted by vaccines reduces over time, especially in populations with low immunity, such as the elderly. The application of an extra dose, or even new updated vaccines, becomes even more important in the context of the emergence of new variants of the new coronavirus.

Along these lines, countries like the United States announced the application of a third dose to their population, in a scenario of high cases and deaths, and low demand for vaccines.

On Wednesday (18), the minister of health, Marcelo Queiroga, signaled the inclusion in the National Immunization Program of a booster dose initially for the elderly and health professionals, without giving more information.

However, it is worth remembering that one in three Brazilians has not yet taken any dose of the vaccine, and only 25% of the population is with the complete regimen. This picture is even more worrying if we look at the world level.

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Less than 35% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccine. More than 80% of vaccines went to high- and middle-income countries, while on the African continent, only 2% were fully vaccinated.

It is no use for a country to apply the third, fourth, fifth and others, none at all.

Therefore, the World Health Organization asked for a brake on the third dose, until at least 10% of the world’s population is vaccinated. How to give a third dose where billions of people have not taken any?

We do need new doses, but maybe it’s not the ideal time yet. We must still advance, and a lot, in the vaccination of the first one, increase the world production of vaccines exponentially, distribute not only to those who can buy, thinking that we can only win this pandemic if we win it all together.

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It is no use for a country to apply the third, fourth, fifth and others, none at all.

Also remember that the vaccine is just one of the strategies against covid-19, perhaps the most important at the moment, but not the only one. We have to have a strong vaccination campaign, with advertising in all media and an active search for people who have not yet been vaccinated or are on a delayed dose.

Allied to real information on how to prevent, forgetting alcohol gel and temperature medication, and focusing on room ventilation, use of good masks and physical distance.

Not long ago, we knew almost nothing, now we know a lot. Millions of Brazilians have already been vaccinated, others will be vaccinated soon, vaccination is in our culture. Although many have worked against it, we will win this pandemic.

*Member of the Network of Popular Doctors in Ceará

**This is an opinion piece. The author’s vision does not necessarily express the editorial line of the Brazil in fact.

Source: BoF Ceará

Edition: Francisco Barbosa

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