After President Francisco Sagasti announced the purchase of the vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, whose first batch arrives this month, and that of AstraZeneca, from the United Kingdom in September, several experts have highlighted the effectiveness of both to combat COVID-19 .

Researcher Juan More Bayona, a specialist in immunology and virology, explains that in the case of the company’s vaccine Sinopharm, it uses an inactivated virus that helps people’s bodies make antibodies.

“It is a virus that grows in the laboratory and is inactivated with chemicals. This inactivated virus is the basis for vaccination and cannot multiply in the body. Once the inoculation occurs, the organism generates a response against the inactivated virus ”, he explains.

While the vaccine AstraZeneca it uses a modified virus so that it does not replicate in the body.

“This vaccine uses a vector virus; in this case, it is the chimpanzee adenovirus that causes mild respiratory symptoms. What has been done is to modify the virus to incorporate the most important protein of SARS-CoV-2; in this way, we have a vector that serves as a kind of ‘Trojan horse’ that carries the genetic information of SARS-CoV-2. So when the vaccine enters our body, it mounts a robust response against SARS-CoV-2. « 

Breaking myths

More also ruled out the fears that are spreading these days, such as, for example, that the COVID-19 vaccine alters the DNA of the person, causes infertility, or that they place a chip to control us. « They have no foundation. »

“We have not reached a stage in the technology of developing chips to control people’s behavior. Furthermore, it would be economically unfeasible even considering the price of a vaccine. Who is going to invest in placing a chip? It makes no sense from a scientific, biological, or economic point of view ”.

It also does not alter DNA or cause infertility. “The objective of a vaccine is that our body generates a response against the component of the vaccine, in this case that of Sinopharm against the inactivated virus and that of AstraZeneca against the SARS-CoV-2 protein. Why wouldn’t there be infertility? Because antibodies are highly specific and are going to bind against that structure, it is exclusively for that molecule. In other words, there is no way to generate a response against ourselves ”, explains the scientist.

Regarding the adverse effects, it indicates that they can be headache, pain at the injection site, fever, malaise, fatigue, which are transitory and can be resolved, in some cases, with an anti-inflammatory.

Other advantages

Another advantage of these vaccines is that they do not need extreme cooling, but from -2 to -8 degrees. And in terms of its effectiveness, Sinopharm’s has shown almost 80%, while AstraZeneca’s 70.4%.

And although they are less than 90% effective, both vaccines can help the population reduce the risk of developing the disease severely or dying. However, More warns that the vaccinated person could become infected with COVID-19, but will not develop the disease severely.

Coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, the infectologist Juan Villena points out that now calculations must be made of how many people are going to be vaccinated daily, and that figure will be divided by the number of care centers that are available for the vaccine.

“In order for an effective vaccination to be achieved, you have to see where it will be located and how many personnel will be needed; how many cold boxes, as well as determining how many people to vaccinate per day. It is a matter of logistics and personnel that must be evaluated in the best way to define exactly the vaccination ”.

“Let’s imagine that we are going to vaccinate 10,000 per day, in 10 days it will be 100,000 people, in 100 days 1 million, 3 million in 300 days and so on. It is a great challenge, ”adds Villena.

Along these lines, the former Minister of Health Víctor Zamora highlights the advantages of both vaccines: they have been tested in Peru with volunteers in clinical trials; they do not need extreme refrigeration (like Pfizer) and, finally, health personnel are already familiar with this type of vaccine that is refrigerated from -2 to -8 degrees.

However, he emphasizes that for a successful vaccination the offer must be organized: have logistics, have defined delivery points, complete health personnel, equipment, protective equipment. In addition, identify and organize patients: hypertensive, diabetic, obese.

He also recommended vigilance of the secondary effects and immediate action by the Minsa to avoid panic in the population. And, finally, a communication campaign with two specific objectives: « Encourage people to get vaccinated and destroy all the false news about vaccines. »

Precisely, the premier Violeta Bermúdez pointed out that the Government will start a communication campaign so that people know that there is no risk in getting the vaccine and also said that the Government is preparing « to receive the vaccines and immediately start the vaccination process. »

Peru has a fairly competent team of vaccinators; however, there are 9,200 and it is expected to reach some 18,000 who will move throughout the country, added Bermúdez.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Pilar Mazzetti, pointed out that the arrival dates of the vaccines are approximate, but the amounts are fixed.

During a visit to the Cenares cold stores, in Callao, which will store the vaccines against COVID-19, he reported that with the first million vaccines that will arrive in the country, the vaccination of health personnel will begin as it is a first priority.

“There is a list that is being modified according to how the doses are presented. The first priority is the health personnel; Consequently, half a million people who work in health in all the country’s subsystems will be vaccinated, ”Mazzetti noted.

The second priority group is made up of the Armed Forces and the Police. In the case of older adults, Mazzetti specified that the SIS and EsSalud have nominal lists in which they are registered according to age.

Second wave

On the other hand, the head of the Minsa recognized that the continuous increase in cases would herald a second wave. « Certainly, all of us who work in health are very alert and we think that the increase we are having from the point of view of the occupancy of ICU beds and the number of deaths heralds a second wave. »

He mentioned that, although there is still no case curve like the one at the beginning of the pandemic, « the correct thing to do is to think that this increase is leading us towards a second wave. »

On the other hand, the Medical College asked that the municipalities be included in the vaccination task. He also stated that it is imperative to create a tool for the supervision and control of vaccinated people.

The armed forces will provide security in the distribution of the vaccine

The head of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, César Astudillo, guaranteed security in the distribution of vaccines against COVID-19. In this sense, he announced that the Armed Forces will have all their logistical resources to fulfill this objective.

« We are going to provide all support, from transportation to distribution of the vaccine, and in this, by order of the Ministry of Defense, we will use all resources to comply with the strategy. »

In this sense, he explained that the Armed Forces will collaborate with the security for transportation, storage and distribution that the Ministry of Health will carry out, a sector with which it has also been coordinating the training of vaccinators who will join the sessions.

Reactions

Violeta Bermúdez, premier

“Fortunately, Peru has a fairly competent team of vaccinators; however, there are approximately 9,200 and we aspire to increase this number to 18,000 vaccinators ”.

Victor Zamora, former Minister of Health

« For vaccination, a national mobilization is needed with the participation of the local government, mothers’ clubs, the parish, sports clubs, and the leadership of the President of the Republic is also needed. »

AstraZeneca and Sinopharm Vaccine Characteristics

Vaccines that will arrive in Peru.

Priority of the population to be immunized.

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