Since December 2019, the world has been in a scientific, technological and economic rush to save human lives from the Covid-19 pandemic.
While trying to understand its origin, efforts are being made to stop the pandemic. A few months ago, the vaccination campaigns started in a heterogeneous way, depending on the economic power of various countries in the world. Till then, it was possible to glimpse the asymmetries between the so-called first and third world countries.
In most of the economically stronger countries, more than 70 percent of the population has been vaccinated, but the waves of infections and deaths do not stop. England and the United States are some of these countries.
Therefore, studies have begun on the efficiency of anti-Covid-19 vaccines throughout Europe and the United States.
We asked the Director of the National Institute of Health, responsible for conducting studies in the health area, Ilesh Jani: how are the Mozambican authorities monitoring the process?
The specialist clarified that “there is not yet solid scientific data that makes the third dose extremely necessary. Right now, we only have more nonconformist governments with the impacts of the vaccination. Therefore, they have decided to take a unilateral decision to introduce the third dose.’’
Jani adds that “the World Health Organization has not yet authorized the studies, mostly those that are conducted in the United States of America and European countries, taken as an argumentations to go ahead with the third dose.”
Such studies have revealed that 3 months after the 2 doses, recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the antibodies do not develop as expected, hence the ongoing high infection rates, although considerable portion of the population is vaccinated.
The WHO does not appreciate this measure. On the contrary, it considers that this attitude will further exclude economically poor countries (with access problems to vaccines).
According to the director, Mozambique follows the discussions on vaccines with attention and following the WHO guidelines.
“Perhaps we will start thinking about a third dose of the vaccine against the new Coronavirus in 2022”, he said.
“This vaccination should be administered in specific groups, probably the most vulnerable and the elderly and people with immunosuppressive diseases (such as Diabetes)” emphasizes the director.
For now, the country is focused on the goal of vaccinating at least 10 percent of the population still this year. So far, however, less than 5% has been vaccinated, corresponding to 17 million people.
“Current reduction of infections is not related with massive vaccination”
The President of the Republic recently (27.08.2021) made another communication to the nation, in the context of the Public Calamity situation imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. After two months of severe measures, as several restrictions were eased.
The reason for the moderation of the measures, according to Filipe Nyusi, is the flattening of the curve in all “negative variables” of the new Coronavirus: daily infections (which went from an average of 1,000 to just over 100), deaths and hospitalizations. The statesman also affirmed that the number of recovered people has increased.
In his report, Nyusi said that the Vaccination Campaign contributed to the country’s move from level 4 alert to level 3. To prove his thesis, he presented some data: in more than 179 registered deaths, 170 people had not taken the vaccine, 4 did not complete the immunization, and 3 were fully vaccinated.
Vaccination campaign and cases reduction… “It is not as it looks”
The Director of the National Institute of Health (INS), Ilesh Jani, while acknowledging the vaccination campaign potential, warns that it is not related with the reduction of infections.
“The National Massive Vaccination Campaign started on August 4 and the announcement was made on the 27th. A large proportion of people has not yet taken the second dose. We cannot assume that there was a direct link or that the numbers are results of this measure. Perhaps it will contribute to the subsequent balances”, explained Ilesh Jani.
The well-known public health expert explains that it will take time to have concrete data on the effectiveness of the vaccines.
“The National Institute of Health will develop a study to measure the efficiency of the vaccines. The data we have now is provided by the manufacturers. Now we need to know the concrete effect of the vaccine on people. Then we can be more comfortable to talk about the efficiency or fragility of the vaccines”, he said.
There are still no concrete dates for the start of such work.
In an interview with the local press, Jani also explained that “so far, the vaccine that has been used the most, in our programmatic context, is the Vero Cell. So the information that we will be producing will focus mainly on the Vero Cell vaccine, which so far we have used the most.
Asked why is the study taking place now, the Director of the National Institute of Health (INS) said that “this is the normal procedure internationally.”