However, the expert emphasized that it would be important to know if this 90% efficacy is extrapolated to all age groups –of all ages–, as well as the duration of the protective response. Although it is true that he admitted that this last doubt is not going to be easily cleared. “At the moment, I think this will not be found in any of the vaccines that act against SARS-CoV-2 due to the unpredictable behavior of the virus,” he said.
“The elderly and health workers should be the first to receive it,” says the doctor.
The truth is that their expectations of the drug are very positive, taking into account that the efficacy has been much higher than expected, but there is still a long way to go. “We must be prudent. However, it should not be overlooked that this is great news and this vaccine, which will be the first to reach the population, is offering us a very different horizon in relation to the evolution of the pandemic ”, added the epidemiologist.
As regards his administration, the president of the AEV pointed out that the ideal is that it should be applied in a single dose. “It is not about whether it is a positive or a negative aspect. Actually, it is something necessary to reduce vaccination acts. In fact, the protection profiles will require it for all vaccines that appear in the future to deal with the new coronavirus, ”said the head of the Epidemiology and Prevention section.
It should be noted that yesterday the Minister of Health of the national Executive, Salvador Illa, announced that the country will initially have 20 million units, which will immunize ten million inhabitants. “Vaccines will arrive little by little and, of course, in the Canary Islands they will be available at the same time as in the Peninsula. From then on, we will be able to start the vaccination campaign, ”said García Rojas.
Who should be the first to access this important preventive resource? The specialist is very clear about it. “When we have this instrument, what interests us is to avoid the most dire face of the pandemic: deaths and admissions to intensive care units. In this sense, the elderly should be the first to receive it. The other priority group would be made up of health workers, as they are key figures in the fight against this pandemic ”, he determined.
As more doses arrive – the amount that the Canary Islands will handle is still unknown – the rest of the population groups can be defined. However, in his opinion, the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine should not be declared mandatory. “We are a tremendously vaccinating country and we can boast of a coverage higher than 95% in the first phases of life. It is true that, as we get older, this coverage decreases, but the fact of declaring it compulsory can have very negative effects ”, assured the doctor.
Likewise, the professional highlighted the results of the survey published last October by the Center for Sociological Research (CIS), which after interviewing nearly 3,000 Spanish citizens, revealed that 43.8% of them would not be willing to be vaccinated from the first moment the antidote enters circulation. Based on the words of the expert, trusting the vaccine is “a matter of time” and society in general will improve its opinion when it appreciates the good results.
“I think this idea is going to be completely transformed and that adherence to vaccination is going to be quite positive,” he argued. “In the specific case of the Canarian population, I can only say that it has responded in a magnificent way to the recommendations that have been given from the health field”, continued the doctor, “so I do not doubt that it will do the same when the vaccinate our islands ”.
In his opinion, the trials of all vaccines have been “transparent” and all spontaneous accidents have come to light, which shows that safety prevails at all times. “An example is the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and in which Johson & Johnson works, which when adversities have arisen, without being clear that they are related to the products, have paralyzed their trials and an independent commission studies the problem” , he highlighted. To later add that, “the regulatory bodies would not allow the marketing of a resource that puts health at risk.
Aware that the battle against Covid-19 can only be put to an end when the vaccine has reached a large part of the population, the epidemiologist confessed that he will not hesitate to be one of the first to resort to it. “I meet three requirements that make me sensitive to receiving it: I am a doctor, I suffer from hypertension and I am over 60 years old. Therefore, I am very clear that I am going to request it, “said the expert.