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COVID-19 : Simón explains a hopeful effect detected in those vaccinated

Fernando Simon, Director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), offered to the media new data on the evolution of the pandemic in Spain. This Monday, Health has notified 20,849 infections and 535 deaths since Friday, last day of update of figures. According to the cumulative incidence, continues descending and is situated in 252.19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

He began by highlighting the good epidemiological evolution: “They are data obviously showing a clear downward trend in recent weeks at the national level, but we continue to have a high incidence that cannot allow us to relax control measures. It is true that There are 11 communities with less than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and this trend is expected to continue in the coming days”.

Vaccination and effects

The director of the CCAES highlighted the good rate of vaccination that exists: “The evolution of vaccination continues to go well. We have more than 85% of the distributed vaccines administered. Every day we have more evidence that vaccinated have less clear chance of contracting the disease. But also, among those who have the disease and are vaccinated we have evidence that the infection is milder. “

Variants

On the variants of the coronavirus, Simón reported that the list of new strains has been updated: “We have included information on the British, South African and Brazilian variants, which are the main ones. We have included information on others, such as the Californian, the Rio de Janeiro, the Nigerian and Bristol. “

“In Spain there are 898 cases of the British variant officially notified, although there could be more to failures in tests that do not detect it. Six cases of sequenced South African variants have been identified and another six that are being studied. There is a contagion of variant P1, of Brazilian origin, eleven cases of Brazilian P2 in various autonomous communities, and a possible case of the variant detected in Nigeria is being investigated. The sequencing has not been defined until now, so we could not associate the variant. These variants present E484K mutations, which could promote immune escape. We know that in B.1.1.7 there is a subvariant with 23 cases in the United Kingdom. But we can’t rule anything out yet. “

Death reduction

Today a study has become known that ensures that if they had confined on March 1, there would have been 23,000 fewer deaths, something that the doctor valued: “If we had confined on January 1 we would have reduced more deaths. Reducing 23,000 deaths when the figures at that time were those, seems a bit exaggerated. But I have not read the study. Confinement requires exceptional justification. We have to differentiate between scientific-technical exercises and what can really be done at any given time, based on what has been done and what has not. But we have to differentiate the exercises that allow us to improve from what is not feasible in the context of each moment. The sooner we had confined, the fewer cases we would have had. But you have to see if that possibility was real. “

Inoculate COVID-19 into healthy people

Simon ruled out following the example of the United Kingdom, that will inoculate healthy people with the pathogen in order to advance research on the disease: “As far as I know, In Spain, there is no research group that is considering doing something like this. These studies are very interesting from a scientific point of view, but very complicated from an ethical point of view. The information they can provide about the disease cycle can contribute a lot, but in Spain we have a very approximate study by our seroprevalence study “.

Vaccination passport

The epidemiologist was cautious about the possibility of implementing a vaccination passport: “They are talking about it. These discussions are legitimate, but be careful with their meanings. There is no universal availability of the vaccine and work on this documentation has to be established, but much work still needs to be done and understanding the consequences of its implementation. “