Three years since the first “thank God” Covid-19 vaccine in Spain

This week, exactly on Wednesday 27th of DecemberThree years have passed since the start of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Spain. It was just a few minutes after 9:00 when, in front of press cameras, 96-year-old Araceli Hidalgo, who lives at the Los Olmos residence in Guadalajara, received her first dose and thanked God for it.

Today they 105.8 million doses of vaccine have been administered in our country and 40.7 million people (92% of the population over 12 years of age) who, according to the Ministry of Health, receive the full regime.

These vaccines (there are several) have proven to be so transcendent for health and the global economy that the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden) awarded them a prize Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2023 Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman for the messenger RNA vaccine against covid-19.

Previous scientific and technological knowledge (not just that of Kariko, who worked on it in the shadows for four decades) was fundamental to this. historical milestonebut many basic and clinical researchers from around the world, the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory authorities and competent international and national authorities contributed to the development of the first four Covid-19 vaccines in record time, less than a year.

For example, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has established accelerated examination procedures evaluate applications for approval as quickly as possible “without undermining the strength of scientific advice”; in particular, ongoing reviews to assess evidence as it becomes available rather than waiting until all studies are completed.

In addition, many pharmaceutical companies capable of mass-producing vaccines have begun producing them “at risk” (prior to approval). And distribution was another fundamental part of the machine, as was the mass vaccination campaign in which the so-called vaccine clinics.

This great story, as is often the case, has a dark side: global inequality in access. From the very beginning, humanity was almost equal to the threat of the terrible and unknown SARS-CoV-2. but with the advent of these vaccines again divided into poor and rich (when 80% of Europeans were already vaccinated, only 10% of Africans were vaccinated).

It was a shame that some countries are stockpiling a disproportionately large surplus of vaccines and it is very painful that in many of them, including ours, millions of doses were thrown away due to expiration dates (it is estimated that European Union member states may have destroyed more than 215 million doses of these vaccines).

He cost is also a more than noticeable issue: Spain spent a total of €2.436 million on Covid-19 vaccines in 2021; in 2022 there will be more than 1,200 million, and this year already 336 million.

“Vaccines will help end the Covid-19 pandemic, but only if we guarantee fair access for all countries, and we have established reliable systems for their distribution,” warned Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general. Fortunately, several international organizations and platforms have contributed to mitigating the problem.

But what we need to celebrate today is that, as the International Coalition of Medicines Regulators (which includes 38 major drug regulators, including Spain) said last July, these vaccines have “saved millions of lives around the world.” peace, insignificantly reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death“.

There is an Ethiopian proverb that perfectly sums up this great story: “When spiders twine together, they can tie a lion.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button