Brazil has the capacity to vaccinate 70% of the population with two doses of Serum against covid-19 until December, if it maintains the current average of 1 million doses applied per day. The rate is ideal for a vaccine to be able to control transmission of the virus. However, experts say the country needs to overcome problems such as the unpredictability of vaccine delivery and low adherence to the second dose to reach the target.
It is necessary to fully vaccinate about 147 million Brazilians to achieve this coverage. Between purchases and donations, Brazil will have 41 million doses of Janssen, for individual application, by the end of the year – 3.8 million have already arrived. Another 106 million people will need to be vaccinated on the two-dose schedule. In all, the country must apply 253 million doses to immunize 70% of the population.
Given that Brazil has already applied about 115.7 million vaccines – between the first dose, the second dose and the single dose – we still need to apply 137.3 million doses. The data is from the Ministry of Health and may be outdated. The country vaccinates 1 million people a day, on average, for at least a month. Therefore, based on deliveries scheduled for the coming months, it is estimated to maintain this volume
“Brazilians want to be vaccinated, that’s clear,” says Isabella Palalai, vice president of the Brazilian Association of Immunization. “So, the factor that can really influence the development of the immunization campaign is the arrival of the vaccines.”
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Health was criticized for delays in procuring vaccinations. After that, problems with the arrival of raw materials delayed the transfers. “Our dosing schedule is complicated,” says epidemiologist from the Federal University of Espirito Santo Ethel Maciel, who believes that 70% of doses in December are “best case.”
Isabella adds that another concern is low adherence to the second dose. For her, more effective communication and an active search for the culprits will help to solve the problem. “The Brazilian probably didn’t take the second dose because he didn’t remember.”
According to the Courage Scale in the Laboratory of Statistics and Data Science at the Federal University of Alagoas, 34.6% of Brazilians who should have already taken their second dose of AstraZeneca are behind schedule (2.6 million) and two million have Coronavac reinforcements pending. Numbers from xi.
It is essential that the country achieve the expected coverage with two doses of vaccination to fulfill its role in significantly reducing cases and deaths. “We know that one dose actually works, but it is necessary to take both doses and that there is no delay,” Isabella confirms.
Studies already show, for example, that two doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer protect against the Delta variant – which was originally discovered in India and more transmissible – but one dose is not enough. The progression of this strain led to an increase in infections worldwide and halted plans to reopen trade.
According to the website Our World In Data, which is linked to the University of Oxford, only Malta and Iceland have been able to fully vaccinate at least 70% of their population. Among the countries with a population of over 1 million, the United Arab Emirates is the closest to the brand (66%).
Other places approaching that level, such as the United Kingdom, Israel and parts of the United States, are already seeing a sharp decline in deaths. Epidemiologist Pedro Halal explains that a rate of 70% is an estimate. “We have been able to see improvements in the indicators when at least 40% of the population receives at least one dose of the vaccine. By the time 70% are fully vaccinated, Covid-19 will be a very small problem.” It is believed that Brazil will reach the index at the end of December.
Microbiologist Luiz Gustavo Amaral says the “magic number” of 70% is calculated based on the effectiveness of vaccines and indicates the most effective immunizing agents. Since Brazil uses different types of vaccines, the rate may vary.
Although many countries already offer vaccines to all adults, such as the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom, there are difficulties in expanding coverage. For Halal, this is a reflection of the anti-vaccination movement and the lack of urgency. “In an environment where the Covid virus is not severe, people do not feel the need to be vaccinated.”
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