“You have to reach 70% of the population to have collective immunity”

Updated: Sunday, January 3, 2021 3:03 PM

Published on: 03.01.2021 14:59

We are faced with a vaccination plan of completely unknown dimensions. And it is that as José Félix Hoyo, president of Médecins du Monde and expert in epidemics emphasizes, “it is the biggest vaccination campaign in history”, to which Amós García, president of the Spanish Association of vaccination, adds that “You need to vaccinate many people as quickly as possible.”

However, all campaigns, regardless of the vaccine or disease to be eradicated, have one end goal: to achieve collective immunity. But this will only be possible if, as José Félix Hoyo points out, “at least 70% of the world population is vaccinated”.

For this reason, it is so important that the vaccine is guaranteed in all countries, not just the wealthy. In this sense, initiatives like COVAX, from the WHO, aim to accelerate manufacturing, and others, like the start-up by India or South Africa, want to remove the patent, which is free, so that it can be manufactured where safety is guaranteed. .

We will only get back to normal if the vaccine reaches poor countries

For Amós García, “it is a question not only of safety, but also of equity”, because if some regions of the world have already started to vaccinate, others cannot even acquire doses, which would imply that the virus continues to circulate and return. normal, for anyone, it will be impossible.

All items shared by vaccination campaigns

In addition to the ultimate goal of herd immunity, all vaccination plans have some common elements. The first is to create an effective communication strategy, in which it is not only useful to ensure the safety of the vaccine, but citizens must be able to dispel their doubts. In this sense, José Félix Hoyo affirms that “we must involve society and this is done by asking for it”.

Second, in all campaigns it is important to monitor the mutation times of the virus. For example, the flu campaign is different every year, as the virus mutates and therefore the vaccine changes with it to maintain immunity.

But in the case of the coronavirus, this still remains unknown: “We still do not know when it will be necessary to refresh the components of the various vaccines against the coronavirus”, underlines the president of Médecins du Monde.

Third, there is security in logistics. As José Félix Hoyo explains about logistics, “all campaigns must have a surplus of vaccines, around 35% of the doses”.

And finally, the necessary percentage of vaccinated in the target groups must be reached. The president of Médecins du Monde indicates that “it is necessary to vaccinate about 90% of the people who belong to each of these groups” in order to achieve the final objective: collective immunity.

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