University of São Paulo: “USP-Covid Bulletin”: vaccination works and needs to continue to beat the pandemic, says doctor

“There is no doubt that vaccination had a very large impact on reducing the number of serious cases that we have seen in recent months”, highlights physician Benedito Lopes da Fonseca, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP) at USP and member of the University Health Advisory Committee, who was this week’s guest of the USP-Covid Bulletin .

The drop in the number of hospitalizations and deaths from covid-19 – compared to previous phases of the pandemic -, even in the face of the explosive increase in the transmission of the virus provided by the omicron variant, is proof of that, according to him. That’s because vaccines don’t stop people from getting infected, but they significantly reduce their risk of developing severe symptoms, which can lead to death.

Most of the deaths that continue to happen, according to him, involve elderly patients and those with comorbidities (or not vaccinated), who need to be hospitalized due to the worsening of other chronic health problems, such as cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases. “The infection ends up destabilizing these diseases and sometimes these patients die or need to be hospitalized, more because of the lack of control of the underlying disease than the Covid-19 infection itself”, explains the doctor.

Fonseca appeals to people who have not yet been vaccinated or who have not taken all the doses indicated to complete their immunization: “Get vaccinated, because only in this way will we control this pandemic”.

Immunization of children is also essential to protect not only children themselves, but also adults and elderly people who come into contact with them. “It is extremely important that we encourage the vaccination of children”, observes Fonseca – reinforcing that the vaccine approved for use in children in Brazil (from Pfizer) is proven to be safe and effective against the disease. “What has been shown is that children have responded very well (to the vaccine), with a very potent immune response against the virus that causes Covid-19.”

In this context, the use of masks also remains essential to stop the circulation of the virus in the population and prevent it from reaching the most vulnerable people. “I don’t know how long we will continue to use masks, but it is extremely important”, especially in situations that favor the transmission of the virus, such as in agglomerations and closed environments, concludes the doctor.

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