“Is it Pfizer? Better,” said the boy in line at the Bom Retiro Basic Health Unit (UBS), in the central district of São Paulo. And he adds, “Yeah, look… I think Americans can be trusted the most.” If that’s not the rule, 34-year-old Caio Silvera isn’t even the exception in the race Serum against covid-19.
The mistrust that leads to the preference of the US pharmaceutical company’s immunization agent with respect to Coronavac and Oxford/AstraZeneca often comes from access to mismatched information about unwanted interactions and levels of protection against this or that variant virus.
In other cases, the reason is more practical: some people want to be prepared to travel when the pandemic passes and are afraid to create a “vaccine passport.” At the moment, vaccination with Coronavac does not guarantee access to the European Union, for example. But in some cases, mass vaccination should only open the borders.
Since January 26, passengers who have been in the last 14 days in the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 European countries, as well as South Africa and Brazil (due to variables) have been denied entry to the United States. Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the emergency use of Coronavac, the most common vaccine against Covid-19 in Brazil.
The authorization was an important step for the European Union, which is currently debating the flexibility of its borders, to begin accepting entry to people who have already been vaccinated. However, for those who have taken the vaccine produced at the Butantan Institute, getting to European soil is not an easy task.
The flight is subject to submission of a PCR test performed up to 72 hours prior to boarding and a 14-day quarantine in the country of arrival, with isolation and contact tracing. That’s one of the concerns of dealer Kika Kim, 49, a place ahead of Kaio in the line. “At the moment I don’t have any blueprints, but I’d better take what I can travel with if I need to,” he says.
For Caillou, international travel is still a distant reality. The official’s concern is not that adverse reactions will occur and be able to count on what he believes to be the greatest protection from the Pfizer vaccine.
He suffers from asthma and left Tatoapé, on the east side, after hearing that he would be able to receive the first dose of this immune agent there. With a medical certificate in hand, he searches for what his brother, who also suffers from asthma, has done. Regardless, the fear of contracting a strain with which the AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective than other vaccines also weighs heavily.
About two kilometers away, in UBS Santa Cecília, also in the central region of São Paulo, retired civilian police officer Rosimeire Ferreira, 49, went after the remaining “xepa” vaccine. preference? “Who’s from Pfizer,” he says. “We hear it’s better than Coronavac, so that is it. The AstraZeneca one seems to have a lot of feedback.”
Five places left in line, student Mauricio Califf, 19, is more determined. Lucky for you, on Tuesday, 8th, that the American Pharmaceutical Vaccine is the one that was introduced to you. If not, he will look for another health center. “I trust the Europeans and the Americans more,” he says.
That shouldn’t be the case, explains Merian Dalbin, an infection doctor at Syria Lebanon Hospital. All vaccines available in the country today are effective and safe. “It’s very complicated to compare the overall effectiveness of vaccines,” he says. “The Pfizer study was done before most variants came out in the middle of last year and Coronavac later.”
They were launched after the third phase of the research, and all are still being monitored to measure effectiveness in a larger population over time, the so-called phase 4. “It may be after a while, in the future, that one is arguably better than another for a given population.” “Now, the important thing is to take any one of the three and not put it off. You can’t be a vaccine seller.”
The city of São Paulo is supposed to claim that all vaccines available in Brazil have been approved by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and proven effective. “The volume informs that the immunizing agent is not chosen, and the vaccination is not delayed for this reason.”
The municipality said in a statement that “the municipality has sufficient doses of vaccines against COVID-19 to vaccinate the eligible public, and at this time, Pfizer immunizations are available for the first dose, Oxford / AstraZeneca for the first and second doses., and Coronavac, exclusively for the first dose of pregnant women and after birth and for the second dose of eligible groups.”