Vaccines are safe and “there is no doubt” that they save thousands of lives, according to Professor Benedito Lopes da Fonseca, of USP’s Ribeirão Preto Faculty of Medicine.
“There is no doubt that vaccination has had a very important impact in reducing the number of serious cases that we have seen in recent months,” underlines doctor Benedito Lopes da Fonseca, professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto ( FMRP) at USP and a member of the University Advisory Committee on Health, who this week was the guest of the USP-Covid Bulletin.
The decline in the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to covid-19 – compared to previous phases of the pandemic -, even in the face of the explosive increase in transmission of the virus brought by the omicron variant, is proof of this, according to him. Vaccines do not prevent people from becoming infected, but they greatly reduce their risk of developing severe symptoms, which can lead to death.
Most of the deaths that continue to occur, he says, are in elderly patients and people with comorbidities (or unvaccinated), who need to be hospitalized due to the worsening of other chronic health conditions, such as diseases. cardiovascular or pulmonary. “The infection ends up destabilizing these diseases and sometimes these patients die or have to be hospitalized, more because of the lack of control of the underlying disease than the Covid-19 infection itself”, explains the doctor.
Fonseca appeals to people who have not yet been vaccinated or who have not taken all the indicated doses to complete their vaccination: “Get vaccinated, because only in this way will we control this pandemic” .
Immunizing children is also essential to protect not only the children themselves, but also the adults and elderly people who come into contact with them. “It is extremely important that we encourage the vaccination of children,” observes Fonseca – pointing out that the vaccine approved for use in children in Brazil (from Pfizer) has been shown to be safe and effective against the disease. “What has been shown is that the children responded very well (to the vaccine), with a very strong immune response against the virus that causes Covid-19.”
In this context, the use of masks also remains essential to stop the circulation of the virus in the population and prevent it from reaching the most vulnerable people. “I don’t know how long we will continue to use masks, but it is extremely important”, especially in situations that favor the transmission of the virus, such as in built-up areas and closed environments, concludes the doctor.
O USP-Covid Bulletin broadcast every Monday at 6 p.m. on USP channel from YouTube. Click on the player below and check it out: