A total of 5,606,011 Catalans already have a complete schedule of the vaccine against covid-19. That represents 79.3% of those over 12 years of age. Tomorrow they will be more, because the immunization strategy, led by the health workers of the primary care centers (CAP), does not rest even a single day a week, although now it is slower than at the beginning (the bulk of those who loved each other and they could vaccinate they have already done).
Beyond all the restrictions and prevention measures, the vaccine and only the vaccine is the great solution to this pandemic.And this idea is supported by the numbers: the clamorous drops in deaths, income and even infections among vaccinated people. This drug is what, little by little, is allowing the population to regain its desired normality.
“Vaccination is being absolutely decisive. It is a triumph of science”, defends epidemiologist Antoni Trilla, Head of Preventive Medicine at Hospital Clínic (Barcelona). “A vaccine has never been found before two or three years. It is extraordinary to have vaccines against covid-19 less than a year later [the pandemic began in March 2020 and in December the first vaccines were given]. We thought that until In 2022 or 2023 we would not be vaccinating, “adds Trilla, who also assures that Spain has the ” privilege ” that its population mostly trusts the drug.
Fernando Moraga-Llop, vice president of the Spanish Association of Vaccination.
All this, if there are no “unforeseen”, qualifies the epidemiologist, makes Spain “very close” to having “control” of the pandemic and leading a “fairly normal” life. Trilla also highlights the high effectiveness of vaccines in preventing a serious form of the disease and deaths. “The World Health Organization (WHO) said it would consider using a vaccine that shows 50% effectiveness . That of Pfizer or Moderna is more than 90%,” he celebrates. Both Trilla and the experts consulted by this newspaper believe that the scientists behind messenger RNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) will win the Nobel Prize.
“Complex” process, “brilliant” idea
Messenger RNA technology allows cells to be taught to generate the protein that triggers an immune response against COVID-19. This in no case modifies people’s DNA, as the anti-vaccine hoaxes promote. “It is a very complex process, but the idea is brilliant because it is simple,” says Trilla. He himself recalls that flu vaccines have been developed for 35 years through the “incubation of chicken eggs.” “If in two years we have a messenger RNA vaccine for the flu, we will have made a jump of 35 years,” he advances.
Immunologist defines messenger RNA vaccines as a “revolution” that will win the Nobel Prize
“Messenger RNA vaccines have been a revolution. The vaccine production technique was long overdue and needed a push. It took 12 to 15 years to produce a vaccine. All of this has given a boost to vaccines. And one of the advantages of messenger RNA is the speed of production “, assesses the immunologist Matilde Cañelles, a researcher at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). It highlights that this type of vaccine, which had been investigated for years, is “very effective” in fighting viruses. “They will end up being used for cancer, worse then they will no longer be called vaccines, but immunotherapies against cancer “, says this immunologist, who considers that” the efficacy of vaccines cannot be discussed. “
The Fira de Barcelona, almost empty this Friday.
A JOURNEY FOUR MONTHS LATER
The emptiness of the Fira de Barcelona: “I have gone from giving 200 vaccinations a day to 19”
Especially if you look back in history. Eradicating diseases such as smallpox, recalls Cañelles, took 50 years. “The time it is taking to end COVID-19 is impressive,” he says. And it is “optimistic” for the fall and winter, as long as a new variant does not appear. “We’re getting better, but we can’t trust each other,” he says.
Avoidance of deaths and income
According to estimates from the Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (Biocomsc) of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), vaccines against covid-19 have prevented, in Catalonia, between 6,900 and 9,500 deaths, between 100,000 and 150,000 infections, between 31,000 and 38,000 income in conventional plant and between 4,700 and 5,700 income in ucis. “We were surprised by the extremely high effectiveness of the vaccines and that they were developed in less than a year,” says Clara Prats, a researcher at Biocomsc.
Although he advocates maintaining the “control measures”, he believes that “the only option” to decrease the circulation of the virusis that people get immunized. “We have the way to pass the disease or the vaccines, one way or the other has no point of comparison,” he highlights.
“In hospitals we have seen the efficacy of vaccines from minute one,” says an infectologist
The benefits of the vaccine against covid-19 are also reflected in the pressure of care in hospitals. “Before the vaccine, the people who came to the hospital came from nursing homes. These people began to be vaccinated, practically disappeared from the hospitals.
And we saw it from minute one. Since May we hardly see people older than 65 years. Questioning the positive impact that the vaccine has on the incidence of covid-19 is not possible, “defends Robert Güerri, section chief of the Infectious Diseases Service at Hospital del Mar (Barcelona). Güerri recalls that the majority of the people who enter are unvaccinated.
This infectologist also insists that, if the vaccine developed so quickly, it is because there was already “prior knowledge” of other coronaviruses and because the global urgency led to “all resources being put into its development. ” Science advances a lot. faster when there is money, ” emphasizes Güerri.