Almost one in ten Spaniards refuses to take the third dose

More of twenty million Spaniards have already received the third injection of the vaccine against him coronavirus. A booster dose that in some communities has barely begun to be administered to the younger population and to which a minority continues to resist. According to the latest barometer of the Sociological Research Center (CIS)for the month of January, 84.5% of those who have already received at least one dose say they are willing to get the booster, but there are 9% who reject the new puncture and 4% who doubtas collected The Newspaper of Spain.

After the refusal, multiple factors: fear, skepticism, doubts about your protection or simply bewilderment at the contradiction of some messages issued by the health authorities. "To everyone who doubts I say trust sciencewhich has shown us that we need it," says Isabel Jimeno, head of the Vaccines working group of the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG).

With data from this Wednesday Ministry of Health, the number of people who had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine amounted to 39,080,436 (92.6% over 12 years of age) and the number of people with a complete schedule (two doses) was 38,264,820 (90.7%). As for those who had received the third puncture were a total of 20,289,629. By age groups -the vaccination of the booster began among the oldest and goes in descending order - the percentage of vaccinated among those over 70 years of age is 91.4%; among those over 60, 90.3%; over 50, 82.5% and over 40, 72.3%.

With such figures, it can be said that the administration of the booster vaccine is being a complete success, says Dr. Jimeno. For this reason, she insists, to all the patients who come to the consultation and express some doubt - the majority wields that they have already been infected - she insists on their protection capacity. In the case of the elderly, she adds, it has not been necessary, but there is a band, which places between 20 and 40, who are more "critical". Even so, it affects, if it is explained to them that actually putting on the brace has benefits, they end up giving in. "Pure deniers, of those who really do not believe in the vaccine, there are very few; another thing is who poses questions and that is good", adds the doctor.

"I do not trust"

"I'm not a denier, but I don't trust. It's not that I'm afraid of the vaccine either -I took the previous two doses and I was convinced- but now I prefer to wait because (the health authorities) continually change their criteria and I'm going to see what happens". ), a 50-year-old Galician who, for the time being, has rejected the invitation to administer that third puncture.

Among his arguments, he alludes to the recent decision of the Public Health Commission to modify the criteria regarding the third dose in the adult population that has passed covid-19 either asymptomatically or with symptoms. Until now, the guideline was to administer the dose at four weeks. However, at Tuesday's meeting, they have decided to recommend that third dose five months after diagnosis of the infection.

"Just as they changed with this, they can say, later, that a new variant of covid-19 appears and this vaccine no longer protects, so I'm going to wait to see what happens because, in theory, with the second one I am already sufficiently protected not to end up seriously ill in a hospital and, knowing that with another dose you can get the same, I prefer to wait", insists the Galician Julia Martín. For the rest, she adds, she will continue with the same care as always, avoiding concentrations of many people and using the face mask as long as necessary.

Side effects

It is not an isolated case. Although it is a minority percentage, as the latest CIS barometer has shown, there are those who defend similar reasons for not receiving that third dose. In other cases, according to different testimonies collected by The Newspaper of Spain among those who reject the third puncture, there are those who point, for example, to the correlation between coronavirus vaccines and menstrual disorders.

Women who, with the complete regimen, now do not want one more dose for fear that these disorders will be greater. In Galiciaa group of researchers from the Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela have started a study to determine what alterations occur and scientifically demonstrate that relationship. From the SEMG, doctor Jiménez shows her doubts: "It seems that it's not so clear", indicates.

There are also those who, even having received the previous two doses for fear of ending up in the hospital - a message that has really caught on - are now thinking about it because they consider that, after the explosion of cases that we are experiencing with the omicron variant, a new dose will not save from infection. And those who, yes, in addition to declaring themselves deniers, they believe that it is the pharmaceutical companies that are putting pressure to put new doses on the market to obtain higher profits.

"no one knows the future, nor do we know what variant there will be. We are facing a global pandemic. We are seeing what is happening almost live, including the studies that are being done. And although they do repeat that argument about the infection, it must be explained again that thanks to these doses, also the third and also for the rest of the population, beyond immunosuppressed or more exposed people, we are leaving where we were in 2020, which was very hard."

Vaccination, by communities

This newspaper has launched the question of what perception they have of how the third dose campaign is going among communities where, as in Andalusia, it has just been launched for the youngest. "It's early to make an assessment, we've just started", indicate from the Ministry of Health. "Here is being prioritized by age, so young people are the last to be vaccinated. Until the administration ends, we will not be able to assess," they add from the Valencian Community.

Among the reasons that, in the CIS survey, those who have not been vaccinated -not the third dose, but in general- continue to be those exposed in previous surveys: the 27.3% do not trust these vaccines; the 11% do not believe they are effective and even a 10% don't do it out of fear to have health risks or secondary-collateral effects.

This same Wednesday, the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) published the Pharmacovigilance report number 12. Until January 9, 2022, 80,109,445 doses of vaccines against the coronavirus had been administered in Spain and 55,455 had been registered. adverse event notifications. The most frequently reported continue to be disorders of the general system (fever and pain at the vaccination site), of the nervous system (headache and dizziness) and of the musculoskeletal system (myalgia and arthralgia).

How long does immunity last?

A recent study by the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) -a body dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation-, presented the first results of the ENE-COVID-senior study, which analyzes long-term immune functionality after vaccination in older people. According to the first data obtained, the third dose of the vaccine does enhance the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in that age group.

The study, which was initially designed to find out How long does vaccine-induced immunity last?, has been adapted in recent months to analyze whether the immune response increases after the administration of this injection and whether the immunity associated with this additional dose is capable of neutralizing the new variants. The body has seen that the third dose is effective in raising the number of antibodies and, in addition, these antibodies have functionality against the omicron variant.

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