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“If we are going to vaccinate 3% by Easter, there will be a pandemic for a while”

Publication: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 12:35

Virologist Margarita del Val considers 2021 to have started with the fourth, not the third, wave of the pandemic, and also warned that “we are at the worst time in terms of number of infections” after dates of numerous social contacts and due to cold and poorly ventilated indoor activities.

Del Val, researcher at the Center for Molecular Biology and coordinator of the Global Health Platform of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), stressed that vaccines “put us at the beginning of the end”, but also that at the current rate A Easter, only 3% of the population over 65 will be vaccinated.

“If we want to vaccinate 3% by Easter, there will be a pandemic for a while, unless Moderna makes a lot of vaccines, Pfizer is ramping up production and also decreasing demand in the rest of the world; if not, this will go with a dropper, ”The virologist said in an interview facilitated today by CSIC.

According to him, “we are at the worst time in terms of number of infections” after dates of many social contacts “to which we do not give up” and because of the cold which has led to an increase in activities in poorly ventilated interiors , and a It has been observed that it has already been quantified that the risk of contagion from this coronavirus is ten times higher in poorly ventilated interiors than in the open air.

Those who passed COVID must be vaccinated

Margarita del Val defends the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both to combat the mildest and most severe symptoms, and although she underlines the doubts that remain about their long-term protection , it is overwhelming: He asks if he gives his consent for his father or mother to be vaccinated, I say: Go ahead. ”

He is also adamant in recommending the vaccine even for people who have already passed COVID-19, and has ensured that although they are fairly protected against further infection and although re-infections are generally milder than the first, “the vaccine protects them even more.”

The researcher clarified that vaccines “protect infected people from suffering, but we do not know if it also protects them from infection; this may seem strange because many people think they are vaccinated to prevent infection; it is is a false belief or a simplification, we are vaccinated so as not to suffer ”.

In this sense, he stressed that half of the vaccines given to babies do not protect them from infection, but that they do so “from suffering, symptoms and death”.

While the Oxford vaccine is also safe, it is less effective than Moderna and Pfizer, the virologist observed, but felt it was an easy-to-maintain vaccine and could reach countries with fewer health workforce resources. technologies and infrastructure.

The Spanish vaccine is “the best”

The CSIC is working on three vaccine projects against COVID-19, said Del Val, and recalled that a group had already obtained vaccines against serious human coronaviruses (SARS-1 and MERS) which were sterilizing, and which protected both infection as well as contagion, as well as avoiding suffering and disease.

The researcher Luis Enjuanes works in this line against SARS-CoV-2, specified the virologist, and underlined: “its production can be difficult, but it is the best”.

Margarita del Val insists in the same interview that from a mathematical point of view “there were clearly four waves”, and that the current one is developing due to the pre-Christmas shopping and the meetings on Christmas Eve, New Year and the Three Kings.

“These are separated by a week, the time during which, if you have been infected, the virus multiplies to spread more easily”, explained the virologist, and trusted the confinement due to the snow and the cold snap helps reduce the number of infections.

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