The SARS-CoV-2 virus is here to stay, as experts predicted from the beginning of the pandemic. The new coronavirus is becoming an old acquaintance, which doesn’t mean it’s completely controlled, but tools are in place to reduce its ability to cause serious disease. These useful resources also include vaccination It has been shown that it is not as effective in preventing infection as it is in reducing its severity.Which is not less.
Therefore, the vaccination campaign this fall of 2023 – which coincides with the flu campaign – Universal vaccination is no longer being promoted, but rather vaccination of those individuals who are most at risk. Suffering from the most serious effects of coronavirus, such as pneumonia or a dangerous cytokine storm.
The protection against viruses provided by vaccines depends on the strains or variants for which they are designed. Because SARS-CoV-2 has been evolving and changing significantly since it emerged in late 2019, vaccines must be updated periodically. ,Pharmaceutical companies are reviewing variants in circulation And studying the immune systems of people who have encountered these new variants to evaluate their response potential and optimize vaccines,” he explains. Patricia GuillemProfessor of Epidemiology at the European University.
Following recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), In Spain, monovalent vaccines will be deployed against the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 (Also known as the Kraken). These are updated versions of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s Comirnaty and SpikeVax messenger RNA vaccines. There have been studies that show that both maintain protection against the subtypes of coronavirus most circulating at the moment, which are EG.5 or Aris and BA.2.86, informally known as Pirola.
Criteria for getting vaccinated against Covid this fall
According to Raquel Alfaro, secretary of the Imvap Working Group (infectious, migratory, vaccines and preventive activities) of the Spanish Society of Primary Care Doctors, the healthy population under 60 has already received several doses of vaccines against the coronavirus. Semergen), “You can be infected with COVID-19, but in a mild and insignificant way.” However, it has been proven that People who “have some disease, some complications and are older are at risk of being hospitalized and dying.”R”.
The vaccination drive will begin between the end of September and the first two weeks of October; It depends on the autonomous community. The Ministry of Health recommends vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 for the following risk groups:
- Everyone aged 60 years or older,
- who are above 5 years of age Admitted to a disability or senior center (Institutional).
- People People under 60 with risk conditions Such as: diabetes mellitus; Cushing’s syndrome; morbid obesity; chronic cardiovascular, neurological or respiratory diseases, chronic kidney disease and nephrotic syndrome; hemoglobinopathy and anemia; hemophilia or other bleeding disorders; Chronic liver disease (including chronic alcoholism); severe neuromuscular disease; cancer; celiac disease; down’s syndrome; Madness…
- Pregnant women in any trimester of pregnancy and women during the postpartum period (Up to 6 months after giving birth and who have not been vaccinated during pregnancy).
- People who live with immunocompromised patients,
- health and social health workers,
- State security forces and bodies (Police, firefighters, civil defense, armed forces…).
Current status and most circulating Omicron variants
The incidence of COVID-19 has been rising in recent weeks, but health officials and experts say The situation is not serious, because most cases are mild. The SARS-CoV-2 variants most circulating are descendants of Omicron and have popular names such as Pirola or Aeris. The first of them, as Marcos López Hoyos, president of the Spanish Society of Immunology, explained, “seems to affect the lungs less, which would make it less aggressive.” Regarding Eris, he explains that it has been considered a type of concern by WHO, but this does not mean that it affects more, rather it is being studied. “Epidemiology and scientific evidence are showing that The population is safe and currently existing variants have not increased their virulence, This is a trend that might be expected, as the natural evolution of viruses leads them to reduce their ability to cause severe disease and mortality in order to persist and continue to infect.
Immunologists point out that, thanks to mass vaccination against COVID-19 since the end of 2020, most of the population has had at least three doses of the vaccines, which represents a good defense against Omicron. To this security we must add in several cases COVID-19 infection on at least one occasion, resulting from what is known as hybrid vaccination (natural and vaccine-based)Which is even more impressive.
Lopez emphasizes that What vaccination achieves is “not prevention of infection, but prevention of serious disease”., And this is what scientific studies conducted in recent years have shown.
For those who need it, along with the vaccine, the rest of the protective measures against the coronavirus are also recommended, although they are no longer used with the same intensity as at the peak of the pandemic.
Its use is essential in emergencies, oncology services and other hospital and primary care areas. Too Occasional use of masks may be recommended In case of suffering from respiratory symptoms – to protect particularly vulnerable groups – or as an additional protective measure (for example, due to immunosuppression conditions).
Routine use of diagnostic tests is no longer necessary, but doctors continue to use them in people who have respiratory symptoms and are at high risk of serious disease (for example, heart disease). Besides, Antigen tests continue to be sold in pharmacies For those who want to use them occasionally to clear doubts.