In just one week, three vaccines against covid-19 show high levels of efficacy against the virus: 90%, the Pfizer vaccine; of 92% the Russian Sputnik V; and the last one, that of Moderna, more than 94% effective. Of course, the information comes through the press releases of the pharmaceutical companies or the research center on duty, and not through official channels, which is the publication of the clinical trial in a scientific journal of impact. In any case, the president of the Spanish Association of Vaccination, Amós García Rojas (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 66 years old), sees the data with “optimism”, although he asks for “prudence”.
Question. What do Moderna’s results mean?
Reply. They continue to add optimism to the availability of products that have a good quality of intervention against the pandemic. The effectiveness they are having, according to their results, is very high. Although I would have liked the results not to be staged in a press release, but in relevant scientific journals, which allow us to better assess the impact from a scientific point of view.
P. Will this vaccine then serve to prevent covid-19 or attenuate serious cases?
R. What the vaccine does is that it prevents one from being affected by the virus, it prevents the disease. Its impact on the serious forms is not yet defined.
P. First has been Pfizer. Now Modern. What are the differences between them? What are your advantages and disadvantages?
R. The two have a good standard of effectiveness and their development line is very similar as well. Perhaps the most obvious advantage is logistical, as one of the vaccines [la de Pfizer] It has to be kept at a temperature of minus 80 degrees and the other does not.
P. The Oxford and Astrazeneca vaccine was another of the most advanced.
R. And it still is. It is one of those that is knocking on the door and the fact that it is not in the media is because the company has not released any publication.
P. Why is there so much rush with the announcements and not waiting to publish the results in scientific journals?
R. I am going to stay situated in an angle of good faith and I am going to think that it is because of the need to bring optimism to the public after so much black news, so much unease and so much confusion. From the bad side, we can think about stock movements and issues of these [precisamente, la bolsa se ha mantenido al alza tras el anuncio de Moderna].
P. Can rushing put the safety of the drug at risk?
R. No, not security. What they can put are some doubts and questions in the citizenship. That does worry me. It appears that we are attending a vaccine race according to the company. And that is not good because it generates concern among citizens. The logical thing is that the results are presented in the scientific media and little by little we will see the impact. How curious !: Pfizer comes out, 90% effective; then Sputnik, 92%; and now Modern, 94%. It does not seem like a reasonable way to gain the adherence of the citizenry.
But that has nothing to do with safety: all the processes that these vaccines follow are those that they always follow. Then it will have to be authorized by the regulatory bodies of the drug.
P. At this point, can a vaccine fall?
R. I think not, that as phase 3 of the clinical trials is advanced and completed, I see it difficult for them to fall. Some that are in an initial phase, yes. But that these fall, it is complicated. But in science there is never anything impossible.
P. A third of Spaniards are reluctant to be immunized when the vaccine comes out, according to a 40dB survey. for the country. What do you think?
R. Of course, it is consistent with the doubts and uncertainties and some movements that have occurred in relation to the pandemic. That response from a large percentage of the citizenry makes sense. But we are a country that has very internalized what vaccines have meant as a basic public health tool and I believe that when vaccines arrive, possibly this profile of lack of adherence that some citizens have regarding them will gradually disappear. The key is this reflection: what is the alternative? Continue with the pain, the suffering and continue to deepen the economic crisis? The alternative is much stronger than the small side effect that a vaccine might have.
P. Should the covid-19 vaccine be mandatory given the public health impact of this pandemic?
R. I think not because we are a vaccinating country and with a reasonable discourse we should make that lack of adherence that a person has to disappear. Making it mandatory could have negative side effects related to vaccination. Now, if we are vaccinating and coverage does not grow and the pandemic goes on and on, perhaps the need to apply mandatory criteria should be reconsidered. But not now.
P. Several vaccines will arrive at the same time for the same disease, how should their administration be organized?
R. Since there are no interchangeability studies between vaccines, if I start getting vaccinated with one, I have to stick with that vaccine and not another. The logical thing is that, depending on the prioritizations that are established in a process that will be very complex, depending on the characteristics of the vaccine and the number of doses that are coming, it will be necessary to vaccinate certain groups with certain vaccines . If we have more than one vaccine, as everything indicates that this will be the case throughout the first half of 2021, we should define what this vaccine or the other is for.
P. Would you get vaccinated?
R. Without a doubt. For three reasons: because I am a doctor, because I am over 60 years old and because I have a basic pathology, which is hypertension. I know that this is the only thing that is going to prevent me from having the possibility of infecting me right now.
Information about the coronavirus
– Here you can follow the last hour on the evolution of the pandemic
– This is how the coronavirus curve evolves in the world
– Download the tracking application for Spain
– Guide to action against the disease
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.