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Posts Tagged ‘pandemia’

The danger of the delta variant and vaccination

02 Aug

Concerns are growing about the delta variant of the coranavirus,  the indication is that some vaccines may not be fighting this variant, the growing number of infections, even in countries with advanced vaccination, is worrying.

WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus said two days ago to various media outlets at a press conference: “New cases of contamination and deaths continue to rise. There were 4 million new cases in one week. At this rate, we will surpass the mark of 200 million of infected in two weeks, although we know that this is an underestimated number”, he pointed out.

Since the third week of July, Europe and the United States have again registered an increase in infections due to the delta variant.

Even in China, which had controlled the pandemic, this number grew again, still small (200 cases), but it is already spread over several regions. peoples in dangerous cities will be tested.

In Brazil the moving average is below a thousand daily deaths, it slowly drops as vaccination progresses, but cases of the delta variant already appear in the country, and the real effectiveness of the vaccine in relation to this variant is concerned, there is poor monitoring in some states, testing should begin immediately and en masse, there is no evidence.

The idea of making the measures more flexible continues and will probably not go back until another outbreak, only one state (Rio de Janeiro) registers an increase, 8 states in stability and 15 in decline (São Paulo is one of these).

The WHO and the World Bank call for the urgent application of vaccines in poor countries, the average in high-income countries is the application of 98.2 doses per 100 inhabitants; while in low-income groups, the number is 1.6 doses per 100 people.

Regardless of the effectiveness of vaccines, vaccination must continue and so must restriction.

 

Vaccines and the delta variant

26 Jul

The number of people vaccinated in Brazil approaches 50% in the first dose (46.7%) and 20% in the total vaccination (17.6%) however the effectiveness of vaccines for the delta variant is being studied in the last week of the Institute Butantan started a study to see the effectiveness of CoronaVac.

The delta variant may cause a fourth wave, the warning is from the WHO, which asks that the measures of distance, use of masks and control of social gatherings not be relaxed.

Monitoring carried out in the country registered and located 145 confirmed cases of this variant in the Federal District and in the states: Maranhã, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo.

The death curve continues to fall slowly in Brazil (see photo).

An article published in the scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine points out that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines protect against the Alpha and Delta variants, especially after the second dose, according to the article, Pfizer avoided 88% of symptomatic cases and AstraZeneca 67%.

The Department of Health of the United Kingdom (PHE in English) released a study made with more than 1 million people in risk groups and pointed out that with two doses the effectiveness of these two vaccines rise to 93% and 78% respectively, when treats people aged 16 to 64 years.

In the Netherlands, the government announced that it will re-impose restrictions on nightclubs, festivals and restaurants, these restrictions had been lifted in June, but the infection picture freaked out with 7,000 records of the disease in the last week, before the cases were already less than thousand.

The picture is a setback for Spain and Portugal, who wanted the resumption of tourism.

 

Accelerated vaccination and new concerns

19 Jul

Vaccination accelerated in July as was the optimistic expectation, the fall in infections and deaths is still very slow and the new waves of infection in countries in the region such as Chile and Argentina light a warning sign, Peru was already in high numbers and some countries in Europe, such as Russia, also show that the Epidemic is far from over.

Argentina reached on Wednesday (14/7) the symbolic mark of 100,000 deaths, high for a population of 44.5 million inhabitants, and entered a new lockdown, with results already containing the new high, the numbers in week fell again.

Brazil like Argentina reaches the number of vaccinated 16% and 11% respectively, while the first dose in Brazil reaches 44.5% and Argentina 45% (see chart above), the next numbers suggest greater attention to the possibility of a new ascending curve, it would be a greater expansion of the delta variant, climatic factors (Chile and Argentina are colder) or even a variant called lambda , and the effectiveness of the Russian Sputnik is questioned.

The lambda variant detected in Peru is frightening, called C.37, its preliminary studies indicate greater lethality and the ability to circumvent vaccines is serious. Researcher Pablo Tsukayama, coordinator of the Microbial Genetics laboratory at the Cayetano Heredia de Lima University, detected that the variant it is already 100% of the infected cases in Peru as of April 2021.

The lack of open data hinders the research, the Ministry of Health of Peru does not disclose it and Professor Tsukayama is one of those protesting this lack of access.

Another issue of concern is the lack of scientific data on the effectiveness of vaccination for the new variants, there are many people who make statements trying to compromise, but do not present clear scientific studies, for example, on new variants such as lambda.

One of these studies, reported by the newspaper El País on July 11, is by Chilean virology Ricardo Soto Rifo, who focused on the CoronaVac vaccine, the main one used in Chile, in a group of volunteer health workers who discovered that lambda presents “increased capacity for infection and immune escape against neutralizing antibodies”, the extent of such loss remains to be clarified.

Another study pointing out in El País is that of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, from the University of New York, pointing out that the results were “relatively lower”, but Professor Tsukayma makes a less than encouraging observation: “It is practically impossible to predict how a virus will suffer mutation”, but reducing transmission is possible through vaccines and this is effective.

 

 

Fall trend and vaccination in Brazil

12 Jul

According to the consortium of press vehicles, the number of vaccine doses in Brazil reached 83,794,712 for the first dose, while 28,108,088 for the second, to this value must be added 2,465,295 single doses, for a total of 114.3 million doses applied, it is expected to grow to maintain the declining curve seen in infections and deaths.

In percentages it means 14.4% who have already received either the second dose or Janssen, which is a single dose, while the percentage that received the first dose is close to 40%, this being important to contain the most offensive variants, the delta and the delta plus, which are already in the country.

It should be noted that clinical analyzes indicate that the second dose is needed for the new variant, and a wider range above 60% starts receiving the second dose, but the application of Janssen is the most optimistic because the number of can make the immunization grow.

When will we achieve so-called herd immunity that will allow for the relaxation of protective measures is the question we all want to know, Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the leading physicians in the efforts against covid-19 in there, it estimates that it should reach 70% of the population, but there are others who indicate that it would be 80% to 90%, as the biggest problem is the mutability of the virus.

Japan, which has numbers close to Brazil, 17% for the two doses and above 30% for the first dose, has already announced that there will be no public at the Olympics starting in a week, and the athletes’ trips will be monitored with all measures of protection.

At the pace of vaccination, all precautions are still needed, whenever there has been some relaxation, there has been an increase in cases and deaths, we expect the curve to keep falling.

 

 

There will be no return to frivolity

06 Jul

Although media philosophers and optimists out of context want some return to some kind of normality, we already have two irreversible structural changes, the need to understand total interdependence, no one is isolated and the restructuring of social and urban life.

England about to return to normality and the United States, which celebrated its Independence Day, thinking of celebrating the independence of the coronavirus, admit failure, in both countries the authorities declared that we must live with this difficulty, in UK the same.

The concept of coimmunity was developed by Peter Sloterdijk in another context, a kind of mutualism in which everyone is responsible for everyone, finding scapegoats either in the creation of the virus or in ineffective combat became difficult to accept conspiracy theories, in both cases political opportunism is present, even though it is possible to perceive a fight that is not always effective.

On the individual commitment aimed at mutual protection, Peter Sloterdijk thinks that neither is the time for national withdrawal nor has the world become small for everyone, consumption exists thanks to frivolity, there is no public consumption if there is no appeal to it.

What should happen is a new requirement of mutualism, it is still just a trend, but the idea that we will not easily get out of living with the danger of the virus and new mutations leads us to the need for a new community consciousness, in addition to the one mentioned and not practiced.

What Sloterdijk calls mutualism could become something even broader, he said in an interview with the newspaper El País: “The need for a universal shield that protects all members of the human community is no longer a utopian thing. The huge medical interaction around the world is proving that this already works”, the problem is that disputes and nationalism prevent this.

Sloterdijk’s answer is quite interesting: “these movements are not operational, they have impractical attitudes, they express dissatisfaction, but they are in no way capable of solving problems. I think they will be the losers of the crisis”, I agree with him.

The only caveat is that these disputes can lead to irreversible clashes, which would be catastrophic for all of humanity and, moreover, a topic that he also touches, democracies are at risk.

His answer is: “in the future, the general public and the political class will have the task of monitoring a clear return to our democratic freedoms”, the desire to suppress them is on the agenda every day.

 

 

Falling curve but slow vaccination

05 Jul

Despite the curve of infections and average deaths (see curve), the problem starts to be the second dose that is stable at 12% in the last week, we warn that the problem could get worse because the number of doses of AstraZeneca and Coronavac should increase because of the second dose.

The number of confirmed cases on Friday was 54,101 and the moving average of the last 7 days was 50,905 infections (in 14 days a drop of 30%), the number of deaths, although still high, is below 2,000 deaths, and there is no state in high, also the ICUs are beginning to be relieved, the most serious regions are around 70% hospitalizations, but in decline.

The controversies of expired vaccines, and the case of Janssen who had many vaccines frozen (they need a special temperature system of -2°C) but are safe, says the Ministry of Health, in addition and Belo Horizonte now also Campinas applied doses of the vaccine in homeless people, a commendable humanitarian measure, since this vaccine immunizes in a single dose and these people have difficulties with sanitary measures.

Cases of expired vaccines are being identified in several cities, some places like the city of Rio de Janeiro had wrong registration in the system, the situation is not out of control and in several cases a new vaccination is already being done, it is important to check with precision the cases where the vaccine was really expired, where there was a system error and the exact number.

The case of the purchase of the Indian Vaccine Covaxin became the center of the government’s political crisis due to accusations of corruption, the negotiation was suspended by the Ministry of Health and the purchase should be canceled, in addition to the politicians, the CGU should also continue with the investigation process.

The serious problem is the slowness of vaccination, we warn that in July, several factors could put the process in check, the need for a second dose, which upon arrival in the municipality is immediately available for vaccination.

The executive secretary of the National Council of Cities Secretariats in Brazil (Conasems), also explaining the case of expired vaccines, guaranteed that the vaccines arriving are immediately made available to the population, so the problem is Anvisa’s (Health Control in Brazil) this control.

Mauro Junqueira, the secretary of Conasems however clarified that it is not always possible to have direct control on the tablet or computer system, sometimes it is done on paper and then placed in the computerized system, the diversity of municipalities in the country explains this easily.

We insisted on the need to increase the production of vaccines for the month of July, the number last Wednesday according to CNN was 3 million doses of Janssen vaccine, 3.33 million doses of Pfizer’s immunizing agent and another 7.15 million of the AstraZeneca/Fiocruz product, total 13.5 million.

 

 

The Delta variant and suspected vaccination

28 Jun

A new variation of the Delta virus originated in India has appeared and is already spreading, called Delta Plus, the virus is more lethal and there are cases in several countries around the world, in Brazil a pregnant woman is the first reported case, she was 42 years old and died within days after contagion.

The growth of 30.6% of infections and 17.2% of deaths in Chile raised suspicions about the vaccination with the use of CoronaVac, social media media spread this news, since there 90% of the vaccination was done with this vaccine and Chile was an example until recently and there is still no Delta variant.

According to news reported by various press information centers (among them the AFP) this correlation is not true because the number of deaths is not proportional to the infection, and among those infected and dead are mostly not vaccinated, said Chilean doctor Vivian L Farias.

Another increase was in Russia, 20,000 new cases, with 7,916 in Moscow, the highest number of confirmed cases in a single day since January 24, when vaccination had not started. in the country, new restrictive measures are being taken.

The big problem there is also the distrust of the population, there are too many vaccines and not everyone is looking for vaccination, the restaurants are thinking of serving only vaccinated people and other measures can be taken in this regard.

Vaccination in Brazil will reach 70 million people vaccinated with the first dose, the Jannsen vaccine is starting to arrive in the country, it only needs one dose, it is highly effective and in Belo Horizonte the first recipients were homeless people, Pfizer sent more 936 thousand doses and reaches 2.4 million doses, 6 thousand liters of inputs for CoronaVac arrived in Brazil, giving 10 million doses.

In June, in the first 24 days, the average vaccination per day was 1 million doses, but because of the 2nd increase in demand. dose of AstraZeneca in July, it has a space of 12 weeks from the first dose, the vaccination may suffer problems, it is necessary to pay attention to this aspect.

As of June 20, the Ministry of Health had distributed 46.6 million doses of AstraZeneca for the first application (source uol), however, from July onwards, an equal number of doses plus those who will receive the first dose would be necessary. it would be necessary to almost double the manufacture over 21.3 million doses are the calculations of health agents.

The concern of the World Health Organization with the new Delta variant, which is already in 85 countries, is the fear that this new strain will be able to modify itself to the point of circumventing the prevention, treatment and vaccine measures available, the WHO president himself emphasized this fact (various press agencies, in the USA, news in CNBC and others).

 

The Delta strain and new dangers

21 Jun

The new Indian strain, called Delta by WHO, re-infects and can become dominant, it is 40% more transmissible and can present twice the risk of hospitalization, in addition the symptoms are deceiving because they seem more like a bad cold and people continue to come out, according to the English newspaper The Guardian.

This is prompting the UK to re-evaluate the easing date, previously scheduled for 21 June, which is now expected to be delayed.

Vaccination continues, however, the effectiveness of some vaccines is beginning to be put in check, AstraZeneca itself already admits setbacks in the third phase of tests, carried out on a larger scale of vaccinated people, some newspapers mention 33% but the official WHO indication is 63.09%, slightly above Coronavac, which is around 51%, and below Pfizer, which is 70%, but with the 2nd. dose the numbers are similar around 80%.

A breakthrough in research, done by Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, finally explained why blood clotting in patients with Covid 19 is high levels of pro-coagulation VWF (von Willebrand Factor) molecules and low levels of ADMTSS (a plasma protease which is anticoagulant) due to alterations in proteins in severe cases of covid.

Basil received a batch of 824.4 thousand doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from the Covax Facility consortium that arrived at Viracopos airport in Campinas (SP), the first batch of this vaccine by the consortium, the others were purchased.

Brazil reached the sad mark of 500,000 deaths, with a number of deaths above 2,000, and with a number of infected at around 80,000, these are still high numbers, but the leap above 3,000 would mean a third wave that continues to threaten us.

According to the consortium of companies in Brazil, more than 63 million people received the first dose, totaling almost 30% of the population, and almost 80% of the available vaccines were used, it is believed that this number could reach 100 million and total close to 50% of the population with the first dose, a number that we reaffirm will be enough to hold the 3rd. wave.

It is necessary to redouble the care and avoid crowding, more rigorous isolation measures need to be taken.

 

 

Curve and vaccination efficiency

14 Jun

The curve shows an advance in the first doses, but the second doses can still be a problem, it is necessary to have a protocol for those who are vaccinated in order to encourage them to take the second dose.

Studies involving post-vaccination and its efficiency are beginning to be publicized, it is called phase four, as explained, for example, by professor Guilherme Werneck from the Institute of Studies in Collective Health at UFRJ (Federal University from Brazil).

Janssen vaccine arrives in Brazil in 3 milhões de doses in tuesday (06/15).

The completion of these surveys can take up to two years, the positive data are encouraging, and affirm the positive impact of vaccination, but the problem of the 2nd. dose is detected and pointed out, in addition to the immunity problem, it also undermines the conclusive results of the research.

These studies are called pharmacovigilance (which investigates adverse effects of the vaccine) and the effectiveness of immunizing agents in containing the pandemic and reducing mortality, we have already posted about the case of Serrana (SP, Brazil), with the immunization of the entire population, where the cases of Covid-19 plummeted.

The number of vaccinations in Brazil is for a total population of 201,103,330 is 53,224,020 (26.5%) were vaccinated in the first dose, in the second dose 23,534,567 (11.7%), giving a total of 37, 17 doses for every 100 people, the world average is 30.07 for every 100 people.

The G7 meeting that takes place these days, according to Downing Street announced that it will donate 1 billion vaccines with the aim of putting an end to the Pandemic by 2022, the number of people vaccinated in the first dose has not yet reached 1 billion people, for a population worldwide of 7 billion.

 

The metaphor and the ineffable

11 Jun

The epistemological challenge is pointed out by Paul Ricoeur of accepting the discovery model, since to reject it “or to reduce it to a provisional experience, which replaces, in the absence of a better one, direct deduction, is to reduce the very logic of discovery to a deductive procedure” (p. 369).

In this context, we highlight the function of the parable that creates a scene that bridges the ineffable and the reality it re-describes, it introduces a plot that produces something beyond the everyday, the parabolic utterance is also metaphorical in this sense.

Like describing a future reality that hasn’t happened yet, the logic has been to re-describe reality using rhetoric, which explores only present reality and denies utopia and fiction.

Ricoeur thus defines the parable as the conjunction of a narrative form and a metaphorical process and also means the narrative of a short fictional story with the aim of interpreting something else that according to the narrator is preferable, in order to interpret it well, to leave it in the sense of the metaphorical.

Future realities that cannot thus simply be described or deduced because they did not actually happen, what will our post-pandemic reality be, what will the human future be like.

Many authors try to unravel this ineffable reality, but it is not deductible, it is a “bridge”.

When explaining the divine realities in the Bible, because Jesus said it was ineffable, he compares it to different situations using a parable, he says in Chapter 4 of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 4:26-27: “Jesus told the crowd: “The Kingdom of God is like when someone scatters the seed on the earth. He goes to sleep and wakes up, night and day, and the seed goes on germinating and growing, but he doesn’t know how it happens…”, compares with the harvest and a tiny seed that is the mustard.

Thus to describe these realities only by logic and deduction is to ignore both the discovery of reality itself and to falsify, for a scientific path, as the divine realities, a tiny seed becomes a beautiful and leafy tree, and this also happens in history