What will this new wave of the pandemic look like? There are two elements that can make it very different from the previous ones: vaccination and the British strain. The first, they coincide in pointing out different specialists in Public Health and Epidemiology, will make the death curve lower than in the previous waves. However, the new variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is already prevalent in the Valencian Community, can trigger the number of infections and hospital admissions.
The specialists recommend going out the essentials at Easter and comply with the restrictions
The president of the Valencian Society of Preventive Medicine, Juan Francisco Navarro, is convinced that the fourth wave will be much more moderate than the third. «Christmas has been insurmountable to create an epidemic wave. In addition, we now have the most vulnerable population vaccinated against the covid, which are the elderly in nursing homes and the population over 80 years of age ».
JOSÉ MARÍA LÓPEZ LOZANO. EPIDEMIOLOGIST: “The British variant may cause more infections in absolute numbers”
However, Navarro does not believe that the bells should be raised to the flight since the vaccination campaign is still slow and it remains to protect an important part of the very vulnerable population against the covid. “This may be the wave of the middle ages, people between 60 and 80 years old, with chronic diseases that can be seriously worsened if they contract the disease.” In fact, in the Valencian Community that of men between 70 and 79 years old is the age group that accumulates the highest percentage of deaths from covid, behind the 80-90 age group. Specifically, almost 28% of all deaths since the pandemic began occur in this population group. For this reason, Navarro calls for individual responsibility in the coming days. “It is important that people get mental to go out the essentials and comply with the measures. I know there is pandemic fatigue, but possibly this is the last vacation in which the population is asked to make an effort.
The epidemiologist José María López Lozano also believes that it will be a gentler wave in terms of mortality, but he fears the effect that the British strain may have, which is already behind more than 70% of coronavirus cases in the Valencian Community. A variant that, although it does not affect the efficacy of the vaccine, is much more contagious than the previous one. “If this variant continues to spread as quickly in absolute terms, there will be more infections and perhaps more income as well.” For this specialist, vaccination can be a brake on its expansion. “If during the month or month and a half that the fourth wave lasts, we vaccinate people between 60 and 79 years old at the highest possible rate, even with a single dose, its effect may be attenuated in real time, since vaccines they take a very short time to begin to have their protective effect. ‘
JOSÉ RAMÓN MARTÍNEZ RIERA. COMMUNITY NURSING ASSOCIATION: “The fall in infections among health personnel will make us respond more effectively”
The Community has administered a total of 824,713 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, just over 90% of all that have reached it to date. Of these, 292,458 have been placed in the province of Alicante and in the whole of the Valencian Community, 258,246 people have already received the two doses. Starting next week, the Ministry of Health plans to finish immunizing everyone over 80 years of age with at least one dose to begin with the 79-year-old group, who will receive the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. In parallel, it will start with the 65-year-old population, who will receive AstraZeneca.
JUAN FRANCISCO NAVARRO. SOCIEDAD VALENCIANA PREVENTIVE MEDICINE: «There is pandemic fatigue, but these are the last holidays in which an effort is required»
In addition to reducing the incidence of covid in the most vulnerable population, vaccination is causing infections to plummet among health personnel, which in the opinion of José Ramón Martínez Riera, president of the Community Nursing Association, will have the impact of this fourth wave in hospitals is much smaller “and can be responded to in a more effective way.” This specialist also believes that the impact of this third wave will be less, especially in the number of deaths. Making predictions beyond this certainty, you see it risky. I can’t say if it will look like the second wave. I am optimistic that the rebound will be discreet, but the virus is unpredictable, it does not understand mathematical models, but infections and the non-use of security measures.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.