Coronavirus: boost to vaccination in boys and girls

The 57 percent of girls and boys between the ages of three and 11 did not receive the first dose or completed the vaccination schedule against Covid 19. Based on this information, the Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, met this Monday with referents of the Argentine Society of Pediatrics (SAP) to evaluate steps to follow around this issue. “It was a eminently technical meeting. It was proposed to see at what points we can develop joint actions “, he told Page / 12 Pablo Moreno, president of SAP. Another issue that was discussed was the fall in the coverage of vaccines of the National Calendar. For both issues they prepare “joint and focused strategies by province”. The end is “arrive with better coverage at the beginning of the school year“according to a statement from the Ministry. On the other hand, the Government is evaluating the possibility of lifting the isolation of close contacts.

“We have a stock of vaccines. They can be co-administered. We have to advance before the start of school with all the controls of the boys and girls, and the updating of the vaccines on the calendar in addition to the vaccine against covid 19, depending on the age that has to start and complete the schedules ” After the meeting, he informed a news channel that the Government is evaluating the possibility of lifting the isolation of close contacts, due to the advance of infections, the lower incidence of serious symptoms and the impact of the confinements on the activity economical.

Data were analyzed: vaccines applied, how we are now, numbers by jurisdictions. We have a long way to go. Vaccination against covid in boys began in the first week of October. It takes three months, during which time there was an end to classes, parties, vacations. There are many isolated families. We want to stimulate it, arrive with as much coverage as possible at the beginning of school. We recognize the importance of schooling for boys, “Moreno explained.

Children between 3 and 11 years old were the last group called for mass immunization against the coronavirus in the country. According to the graphs published by the senator, public accountant and data analyst Martín Barrionuevo, in the age group 3 to 11 years, 67.2 percent have a dose. The complete scheme is owned by 43.7 percent. In the range of 12 to 17, 83.7 has a dose and 64.7 the complete scheme. Both groups were discussed at the meeting on Monday. The Undersecretary of Health Strategies, Juan Manuel Castelli, indicated that the percentages in these age groups are lower than those of the total population because “vaccination in girls, boys and adolescents began later.” The number of doses applied dropped when classes ended.

The meeting was called by the Ministry. In addition to Vizzotti, on behalf of the Government were present the Secretary of Access to Health, Sandra Tirado; the national director of Epidemiology, Analía Rearte; the director of Perinatal Health and childhood, Gabriela Bauer; and the coordinator of the National Comprehensive Health Program for Adolescents, Juan Carlos Escobar. “We will work at the national and regional level strategies to bring peace of mind to families. We want stimulate vaccination in the provinces where there is less coverage. And the possibility arose of incorporating other actors who will be summoned to a next meeting, such as Unicef and the Pan American Health Organization (OPS). It will be at the end of this week or the beginning of the next, “said the head of SAP. The provinces that show the lowest rates of vaccination against the coronavirus in children between 3 and 11 years old are: Misiones (14.2 percent), Chubut (22.1), Salta (24.1), Jujuy (24.4) and Chaco (24.6).

“The campaign involves Outings to the media, flyers, activities with groups of parents and updating for professionals, distribution of materials that pediatricians can report to patients. There is the possibility of carrying out provincial and regional campaigns, in which the Society would participate with references from each branch, “Moreno explained. The SAP has already been undertaking a campaign” based on social networks and in the press, on the safety of vaccination against covid “and” with flyers that pediatricians also have. “

The pediatrician and therapist gave a message for parents who are afraid of vaccinating their children against covid 19. Sinopharm – the vaccine used for boys between the ages of three and 11 – “is safe, with a known platform, they also use long-used vaccines, such as the flu.” Its effects are mild, reports indicate. There may be only pain at the application site and a low-grade fever. “The only way to achieve herd, collective immunity is that there are no people susceptible to contracting the infection and that we are vaccinated. Today the country is seeing what is happening with the number of cases and hospitalizations. In the case of internees, more than 60 percent are not vaccinated. Vaccinating children helps protect grandparents and other loved ones and allows them to have a careful presence, “he argued.

In pediatrics, in this third wave, there was a significant increase in cases, in line with the general contagion curvesaid Oscar Trotta, pediatrician and member of the Garrahan Board of Directors. The CABA numbers in people from 0 to 16 years old show it: the positivity figure went from 3.3 percent to 42 between January 1 and this Monday. That is to say: Three out of 100 boys who swabbed tested positive. Now 42.

The disease in children still occurs predominantly in “mild forms”. “It occurs in general, both with the previous variants and with Ómicron. Most of the hospitalized or deceased had chronic diseases, they were cancer patients, with immune or chronic diseases. In more complex hospitals, the care of this type of patients predominates” Moreno clarified. Severe forms are “very rare” but “can be fatal.” “The risk exists. Although the number is low, for a family that loses a child it is 100 percent … Nobody cares that it is in 1 percent of the cases,” he concludes. The most feared complication continues to be multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

The example of the Garrahan

Last week the Buenos Aires hospital had to open another hospitalization room for boys and girls with coronavirus. There are currently 77 boarding schools; all with “complex underlying pathologies”. 10 percent are between zero and three years old and are not vaccinated because there are no vaccines for that age. The 60 has the incomplete scheme. “Those who have one dose in general could not apply the second due to family dynamics or because they started with symptoms. Of those who did not receive any, a part are children who have complex diseases and for them vaccination is not indicated at the moment , and others are cases in which the family decided not to vaccinate them “, indicated Trotta. Another 30 percent have both doses but developed the infection because “they have problems with their immunity.”

The increase in interned boys is significant in Garrahan: “At the beginning of December we had a ward with seven patients. In the middle of that month we opened a second ward, we had 20. Last week we opened the third, with 55 patients. Now we have 77“.

“The Garrahan vaccinated almost 100 percent of its target population. So far we have not had no major side effects. Both vaccines, Sinopharm and Moderna (the one used for boys from 12 to 17) are proven safe and effective, “added Trotta.” There are pediatricians who in many cases are reporting that the vaccine still does not have enough studies and they propose to parents expect. That has no scientific basis. Some families receive contradictory, incomplete information, in many cases false, and many professionals, journalism and a political sector are responsible for this. “” We have 18 thousand partners. Almost all pediatricians in the country. Most indicate the vaccine, “Moreno clarified.

Fall of coverage of the National Calendar

The other axis of the meeting was fall in vaccine coverage of the National Calendar. It is a worldwide phenomenon. In the country the trend has been around five years ago, but it was accentuated with the pandemic and confinement, and once the restrictions ended it did not improve as expected. “The drop is 12 percent and the risk is that diseases such as measles will reappear. The country is on an epidemiological alert for this possibility. It has to do with the outbreak in Brazil. We will work together for the coverage. The Society has already designed a campaign, which coincides with school re-entry. We are going to join UNICEF and PAHO, to see if together we can install the issue, “concluded Moreno.

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