In recent weeks the cases of Covid-19 started to grow up on the European continent And in Argentina a déjà vu began to be experienced about what happened in 2020, when the health crisis that hit the countries of Europe became the prelude to what would happen in Latin America.
The increase in infections in Austria, Denmark, France and Germany They are the most concrete example of the new wave of coronavirus that will impact European societies. Nevertheless, In the Argentine government, concern about the arrival of a third wave is moderate. The reason? The number of vaccinated.
This Monday the European Commissioner for Health, Stella kyriakides, assured that Covid-19 cases are increasing in countries with the lowest vaccination rates. He graphed it with subtlety and forcefulness in a single definition: “We are now facing a pandemic driven by the unvaccinated.”
During the weekend in France the Government alerted through its spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, a fifth wave in that country warned of the arrival, due to an 80% increase in the number of cases. “The new wave has started like lightning”, Held.
The big problem in some European countries is the low vaccination rate, due to the number of people who do not want to be vaccinated. Doses are available, but a sector of the population is reactive to the possibility of being vaccinated and puts the rest of the population at risk. Not having understood the need for the vaccine after the health tragedy left by the pandemic is unusual. But those countries are suffering the impact of anti-vaccine movements.
In this context, the government of Alberto Fernández warns that it is well positioned to withstand a regrowth. It is due to the high percentage of vaccinated that the country has. More than 90% of those over 18 years of age have one dose applied and about 70% already have both doses. The percentage of vaccinated is very high, but schedules have yet to be completed.
The reason why it is not achieved is because people do not go to vaccinations. There are doses, the arms are missing where to put them. It is the great problem that health management is facing at this time: getting many young people who went to be vaccinated, to get the second dose again to increase their level of immunity against the virus.
Individual responsibility is not only key in health care and measures, but also in the application of vaccines. The Government has clear indications that there are people who have not yet been vaccinated. Which? For instance, They install a vaccination center in a suburban plaza and in a short time the queue to receive first or second doses multiplies its size.
The Minister of Health, Carla Vizotti, He referred to the European situation and warned that to reduce the impact of the third wave in Argentina it is necessary for those who did not get vaccinated to do so. He made a clear request after a meeting he shared with the Chief of Staff on Tuesday, Juan Manzur.
“We need young people between 18 and 39 years old to come to complete the schemes, that those who did not start them, start them. We need adolescents and children to complete their schemes and for those who have to give themselves the third dose to start them, ”said the official. It was almost a plea.
The Government has stock to give the reinforcements of the third dose to those over 50 years of age and is increasing the volume of doses purchased, or produced in the country, so that the entire population can apply the reinforcement during 2022. It maintains the efforts to buy more vaccines and, in parallel, it discusses what new strategy to apply to increase the number of people vaccinated.
The other key to facing the third wave has to do with progress in pediatric vaccination. The Fernández government made progress, in the first instance, in the application of vaccinated minors between 12 and 17 years old, who were vaccinated by Moderna and Pfizer. In that age group, they exceeded 70% of those vaccinated.
They then followed up with children between the ages of 3 and 12 with the doses of Sinopharm purchased from China. This group is where it is most difficult to enter. So far about 60% have been vaccinated, but health authorities do not believe that they can pass the 75% ceiling. There are many parents who are not willing to vaccinate their child. They are afraid.
In the ruling party they are upset with the messages that the leaders of Together for Change gave about childhood vaccination and that opened a scene of suspicions and doubts about its effectiveness. “That message hurt us a lot”they warned.
The strange thing is that, despite criticism from opposition leaders, Cofesa, where all the country’s health ministers meet, supported pediatric vaccination on two occasions, unanimously. The manipulation of information about vaccination of minors and public discussions generated mistrust in some parents who preferred not to register their children for vaccination.
Until recently, the Ministry of Health thought about moving forward with the implementation of a vaccination certificate or health card that enables people to enter events, bars, parties etc. A tool to push people to get vaccinated to normalize their lives.
That option froze in recent weeks. Although it is not completely discarded, they delayed its application because they want to study in detail how it could fall into Argentine society, how it would be implemented and how effective it could be. They fear, above all, that as a negative response to is tailored, the anti-vaccines will be mobilized and they will end up grouping together and gaining strength in their claim.
At the moment the vaccination process that is taking place is dropper. Few people are added per day who do not show a significant daily volume, but add up in the general table. For the next few months, the Government could evaluate a change in strategy and move to one that is more aggressive in order to make a jump in the number of vaccinated.
In any case, the Ministry of Health anticipates that the arrival of a possible third wave, It will not force them to take restrictive measures similar to those that were applied in 2020 and a portion of 2021.
For the Government, the pandemic is over. These specific cases are outbreaks that can be controlled by the number of vaccinated. Cases may rise, but many of them will be from vaccinated people, they analyze in the health offices, where they see a positive scenario, in health terms, for the year that will begin in a little more than a month.