The first results of a study carried out by the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), released since January by the Santa Catarina government, generated a race for the triple viral vaccine in Belo Horizonte and other Brazilian cities. The research assesses the effects of the immunizer against Covid-19, and preliminary conclusions, according to the authors, demonstrate that the immunizer, originally used for mumps, measles and rubella, generated an immune response against the coronavirus.
Although the study is considered promising by the researchers who conduct it, it does not prove that the vaccine is effective against Covid-19 and the Brazilian Society of Immunizations (Sbim) recommends that the immunizer not be applied to prevent the disease. The UFSC team also says that it should not be used as an “early treatment”. But, as with chloroquine, ivermectin and a number of other products, the mere mention of its possible effectiveness has led to such an uproar that private clinics face a risk of shortage of the immunizer for those who really need it.
This is the case of Hermes Pardini, according to Marilene Lucinda, the doctor responsible for the vaccines service at the laboratory. In BH units, sales of the immunizer increased by 174% in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2020. “There is difficulty in replenishing stock. Distributors no longer have vaccines to supply and have not passed a replacement date ”, says the doctor. She says she has no idea how long the stock of immunizers, all imported, will last, since it depends on the pace of demand. For now, the vaccine is sold without restrictions by the laboratory.
The Maximune clinic, which has two units in the capital, also reports an increase in the search for the immunizer. “We are receiving a very high demand from people wanting to be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella with an interest in cross-protection against the coronavirus. Imagine the problem that we are going to face. This vaccine is not available for purchase from any distributor, and we have babies who need it at 12 and 15 months to protect themselves from measles. If you had a recommendation for the coronavirus vaccine, do you think that the whole world would not be vaccinating with a triple viral? ”, Describes the pharmaceutical and founder of Maximune, Manuella Duarte, on the laboratory’s social networks.
She explains that she now sells the vaccine only for immunizing babies. “The demand for it did not used to be high, because it is available at health centers. But we started to receive requests to vaccinate ten, 20 people from families “, he detailed to the report.
The Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics (ABCVAC) confirms the scenario, although it does not know the precise scale of the increase in demand. “We had a much higher demand than the average and this caused the stocks of vaccines in distributors and in several clinics to run out quickly. There is a risk of shortages in the private market, as, like other vaccines, the triple viral is imported and it is a great logistical challenge to supply an unprovided demand ”, says the association’s director, Marcos Tendler. As for the Ministry of Health, the vaccines are supplied by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and by the Serum Institute, in India, and the folder says there is no shortage for any state.
In the municipal public network, the Belo Horizonte City Hall (PBH) reports that it has not registered a significant increase in the search for the vaccine in recent months. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, when there was a measles vaccination campaign, the amount of vaccines applied actually decreased. In the first three months of 2020, almost 43 thousand doses were applied. In 2021, there were 18.2 thousand in the same period. The PBH reinforces that there is no recommendation from the Ministry of Health that the vaccine should be used against Covid-19.
The UFSC study is still being finalized and has no date to be published in full. The preliminary results that were publicly shared by the university and by the state government of Santa Catarina demonstrate that the application of the triple viral decreased by 54% the appearance of symptoms of coronavirus infection and by 74% of hospitalizations for Covid-19. The volunteers were 430 health professionals from Greater Florianópolis.
Contacted by the report, the researchers responsible for the survey stated that they will only comment on the study after the publication of the final version of the article. The study received an investment of R $ 100 thousand from the Foundation for Support to Research and Innovation in Santa Catarina (Fapesc).
He assumes that the body produces a natural immune reaction when it receives any attenuated or inactive virus vaccine. As the survey coordinator, UFSC professor Edison Fedrizzi, told Agência Brasil in January, the immune response generated by the vaccine would act on the coronavirus for up to eight months, considering two doses.
Virologist Flávio Fonseca, a researcher at CT-Vacinas, an institution linked to the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), explains that the immune system really “wakes up” to other diseases when receiving a vaccine, but points out that the effect is usually temporary.
“The innate layer of our immune system is awake (with the vaccine) and can contain other infections, including the coronavirus, but this protective effect is short, lasts for days, and then the antibody response is only for the disease to which the vaccine was developed ”, he says. He also assesses that the Santa Catarina government was hasty in releasing information before the survey’s conclusions. “Any information that involves Covid-19 and is good news is politically explored in a very intense way”, he completes.
In March, the Santa Catarina State Department of Health (SES / SC) and UFSC issued a statement asking people who do not seek the vaccine at health centers or private clinics to try to prevent Covid-19.
Who should take the triple viral
The vaccine should not be used as a way to protect itself from Covid-19, as its effectiveness has not been proven and people continue to need it for other problems. They should be vaccinated, if they have not already done so:
- people from 1 to 29 years old, with two doses;
- people from 30 to 49 years old, with one dose;
- people over 50 years old, if they move to areas of active measles transmission, there is contact with patients or if they are health professionals;
- in December 2020, Minas Gerais suspended the first dose of the vaccine for babies aged between six months and one year, as there has been no record of measles in the state for more than 90 days.
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