Former members of Uruguay's Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH) have recommended a third dose of vaccine against COVID-19 in addition to inoculating children aged 5 to 11.
Doctors Henry Cohen and Mónica Pujadas said Thursday that the high level of vaccination was a “great advantage” in light of the appearance of the Omicron variant. Their words came at a meeting where professionals were discussing the effects of the pandemic on children and adolescents were analyzed.
We do not have to panic, Cohen said regarding Omicron's large number of mutations. Cohen and Pujadas released a work of theirs on the subject during a ceremony which was also attended by Education Undersecretary Ana Ribeiro and National Honorary Advisory Council on Childhood and Adolescence Rights Chairwoman Cecilia Sena.
Uruguay has a great advantage: more than 75% of its population has already been vaccinated, and about 93% of those qualified to do so received two doses, Cohen explained. We are vigilant of the situation. We have not seen an increase in cases, he added.
He also pointed out the members of the former advisory group were in permanent contact with each other and with scientists from other countries. He also said they were able to make suggestions or send documents for the Executive Branch to evaluate. President Luis Lacalle Pou had also said he was in permanent touch with former GACH specialists via Whatsapp.
It is time to invite Uruguayans to take their third dose, Cohen urged. He also underscored a recent statement from Presidential Secretary Álvaro Delgado regarding the commitment of the Pfizer laboratory to add technological advances to the batches of vaccines to be sent in the future to face the new variants of the virus.
Regarding children, Pujadas said that the virus has spread to younger people and children from 5 to 11 years old increased their participation in the total number of cases and generated outbreaks, while the possible consequences of COVID-19 in a prolonged cognitive level were under study both in Europe and in Uruguay.