Even before mass vaccination began in Brazil, volunteers in clinical trials were already vaccinated here in the country. They help further expand the knowledge of scientists.
In addition to the suffering she saw in the intensive care unit, where she worked at the beginning of the epidemic, physiotherapist Cristina Batista Alves felt the pain of loss on her skin: “The person I love most, my mother, for example, died in August of Covid, and uncles and cousins. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win this battle.”
She turned grief into motivation to keep fighting as an ICU physical therapist and one of the first volunteers to trial the CoronaVac. The periodic examinations that she conducted for ten months showed that she did not contract the disease.
Fabio Pawlyszin, Health Agents Coordinator, is also a volunteer, with the exception of the Janssen vaccine. He had Covid three months after receiving it, but had no doubt: “In statistics, I’m considered a mild case. So, I’m still thinking, if I didn’t have this vaccine, if I didn’t volunteer for the test, I wouldn’t have taken it. I still didn’t.” To take it now. In fact, will I be alive?”
Every volunteer who walked through the door of a research facility helped in the science fight to control the epidemic. Months after receiving the first doses of vaccines, they continued to collaborate in the search for new answers.
“Because we are health professionals and take risks at all times, our biggest curiosity is whether this vaccine lasts for a long time. Effectiveness,” Christina comments.
“As I took it in November, it’s now June, so you’re curious to see how long the body actually retains that vaccine memory,” Fabio says.
The makers of each vaccine assist with the research, but independent scientists and health and regulatory bodies from several countries around the world are working to find answers. Also analyze the vaccinated population. Some important answers have already been obtained.
“We already know that the duration of protection is long, that we still have protection among people who were vaccinated more than a year ago, during the beginning of clinical trials, and we also know that all vaccines protect against variants. With two doses of the vaccine, the key thing is,” he highlights The spotlight is on Dennis Garrett, vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
Lily Yin Weckx, the coordinator in Brazil for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine tests on 10,300 Brazilian volunteers, explains that their blood tests are sent periodically for analysis in England..
“We have a very reasonable number of participants where we can do this analysis and if the antibodies start to drop, if the protection goes down, we can see and analyze the need for a third dose,” Lilly says.
The 13,000 volunteers also accompany CoronaVac. A booster protocol is being studied, according to the medical director of the Butantan Institute, which is also monitoring the situation in other countries using the vaccine.
“Protecting vaccination is a collective action. It is not an individual action. There is an increase in transmission between those populations that have not yet been vaccinated. This is why it is so important that the vaccine is in the arms of people and that they protect themselves and others,” emphasizes Ricardo Palacios, MD, medical director of clinical research at the Putantan Institute.
a The discussion about the possible need for booster doses for all vaccines is not currently.. According to experts, the most urgent thing is to speed up vaccination. In their opinion, only expanding vaccine coverage will make it difficult for new variants to emerge and reduce the risk of contracting even mild cases of Covid, even in vaccinated people.
“No vaccine is guaranteed, and no vaccine will provide 100% protection. As long as the virus is highly circulating, the chance of vaccine failure is much greater. When we have a large number of people vaccinated, we will see the effect of the vaccine,” highlights Dennis Garrett.
For now, the top priority is getting vaccinated. You should take the available vaccine, complete the schedule, if you have a two-dose vaccine, take both doses, and even after vaccination, continue to take preventive measures, says Garbas Barbosa, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization.
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