Director of the Putantan Institute, Dima Covas, at a hearing at Covid’s CPI September 4, 2021 | 09:50
Dimas Kovacs says Quiroga uses the word “sorry” and won’t use Coronavac for the third dose because he didn’t buy the vaccine
The Director of the Putantan Institute, Dimas Tado Covas, called for the statement of the Minister of Health, Marcelo Quiroga, that the federal government will not use vaccines that do not have a final registration granted by Anvisa as a third dose against Covid-19 (the National Health Surveillance Agency). This does not include Coronavac, which is produced by Butantan.
“The vaccine is in use, it is being distributed and there are doses that are being delivered to the ministry,” Covas says. “What he doesn’t have is a hundred million additional doses [previstos em contrato entre o Ministério da Saúde e o instituto, que se encerra neste mês]. He doesn’t hire him anymore,” continues the manager.
Quiroga’s speech was given on CNN on Friday (3). For Covas, the gesture “discredits Coronavac, because there is no evidence of a scientific nature” that makes it impossible to use this fortifying agent as a booster.
And he does so using an administrative argument. Suppose they no longer have a contract to supply Coronavac, so they will choose larger-volume vaccines – such as Pfizer and Astrazeneca. Use the right arguments, not that it’s because they [Coronavac] He has no final record. It’s an excuse.”
“What the ministry is doing is throwing a smokescreen,” the Butantan director continued. The real problem is not the third dose. It is the introduction of the second dose. In Brazil, there are still about 28 million people over 60 who have not yet received the second dose, and they are [governo] They failed to pay him. So the ministry must take a more significant step forward and obviously including a third dose as a precaution. They play a lot on issues that are not current issues and forget to comment on current issues”
Seeking comment on Covas’ letters, the Ministry of Health did not respond until the completion of this text.
According to the doctor, the decision was “incoherent” for the minister. He wonders, “The ministry bought 100 million doses of Coronavac and suddenly it can’t use it anymore?” The volume got that total from Butantan in a contract that expired at the end of September – but the institute decided to deliver nearly six million doses still missing through the second half of this month.
“We have a large production capacity, so we advanced [a entrega] To be able to terminate this contract and make these vaccines available to Brazil and other countries,” Covas says.
Studies show that switching between vaccines, i.e. applying a second or third dose different from that given as the first, can lead to an increase in the immune response against the disease. However, there are still no conclusive studies on this possibility. On the subject, Dimas says, “We already have enough elements to say that any added vaccine regimen increases immunity.”
He cites a study by two researchers from the University of Barcelona, still in the process of review, indicating the importance of applying immunizing agents with inactivated virus, such as Coronavac, in those who have received vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna (based on RNA), AstraZeneca and Janssen (which uses adenoviruses). ). “What this study says, if confirmed, is that the immune repertoire should be expanded,” he explains.
Studies also show that Coronavac loses its effectiveness in elderly people over 80 years of age. According to scientific work by Vicruz infectious disease scientist Julio Croda, the efficacy of the immunizing agent in that age group was 28% against asymptomatic cases, 43.4% against hospitalization and 49.9% against deaths. According to the same work, in the age group between 70 and 74 years, the effectiveness of coronavac against symptomatic cases is 61.8%, 80.1% against hospitalization, and 86% against mortality.
When asked if this data could influence the choice of other softeners as a third dose, he said it is relative. All vaccines, not just those against Covid-19, are losing effectiveness in the elderly. This is due to the phenomenon of immune hyperhidrosis, the aging of the immune system,” Covas argues. The city of São Paulo has also announced that it will use Pfizer as a backup as of the 15th of this month.
The doctor cites Israel as an example of a country that has mostly been vaccinated with Pfizer and is seeing “a new resurgence of cases, with an increase in the number of deaths and infections” due to the delta variant of the coronavirus.
“You can’t look in part, you have to look at the whole. So far, the data we have from Coronavac with delta is very good, in contrast to data from Israel, the UK and the US – which shows that vaccines like Pfizer, Astrazeneca and Moderna have not been able to This shows that these vaccines have their limitations, and this may be important for new variants,” he continues.
“Israel, when the outbreak began, had the highest vaccination rate. This did not prevent the emergence and dominance of the delta variant. The same was observed in England, with Astrazeneca, and in areas of the United States where there are already higher rates of vaccination.”
As examples of Coronavac’s success, he cites countries such as Chile and Uruguay, where, according to him, “there was no emergence of variants, there was no catastrophic dominance.”
However, these two countries record high rates of vaccination in proportion to their population. According to the Our World in Data platform, respectively, 72.3% and 71.3% have already been vaccinated with two doses in these places – both of which have already begun to go to the third stage, by Pfizer. On the other hand, Israel and the United States report low rates of 62.6% and 52% in that order.
“ought to [se comparar] Looking at people who have been vaccinated and who have been infected. The so-called escape vaccine. The escape of these vaccines in relation to [variante] Delta is very strong. It reduces its efficiency by 60%, and sometimes even more. In people protected by these vaccinations in the United States, for example, there is data that 30% of them are infected or infected again,” Kovas notes.
He advocates the use of immunization devices with inactivated virus technology, such as Coronavac. “They are the most complete from the point of view of immunity. They greatly stimulate the system with the whole virus, as opposed to those that stimulate only a small piece of the virus.”
But Covas stresses that “vaccines are steel shields.” “They are important elements to fight the virus, but they are not shields,” he says. “We need to vaccinate. In my opinion, the priority is to provide the second dose. And the third dose will come naturally in these subjects.”
Bruno B. Soraggi, Folhapress
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