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Montevideo, June 20th 2024 - 02:28 UTC



Brazilian experts: Vaccination saved 63,000 in 2021 from COVID-19

Tuesday, November 22nd 2022 - 21:24 UTC
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Brazil could easily vaccinate one million people daily, the experts argued Brazil could easily vaccinate one million people daily, the experts argued

Scientists in Brazil said this week that vaccination against COVID-19 had saved the lives of 63,000 of the country's population over 60 years of age, in addition to preventing some 178,000 hospitalizations of people over 60 years in 2021.

 Research from the COVID-19 BR Observatory also found that another 47,000 lives could have been saved and 104,000 hospitalizations avoided if immunization had occurred faster, according to a study published Monday in The Lancet Regional Health Americas.

“If we had vaccinated in January at the same rate we vaccinated in March, we could have avoided the loss of an additional 47,000 lives in that same period. Just by having a faster pace of vaccination than what happened in real life,” said researcher Leonardo Souto Ferreira, one of the article's authors and a researcher at the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IFT) of the São Paulo State University (Unesp).

The work also had the participation of scientists from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), the Federal University of ABC (Ufabc), and the University of São Paulo (USP).

The study was based on statistical analysis to dimension the role of mass vaccination and the effectiveness of this sanitary strategy.

“We assumed in our model that the behavior of the hospitalizations and deaths curve in a younger age group, which is not receiving the vaccine, is the same as in the older age group,” added Ferreira.

In a scenario, therefore, where “some age group starts falling before the other, we attribute this difference to the vaccination of the elderly.” The difference between the two age groups is what vaccination prevented, both in deaths and hospitalizations, he added.

The research also believed some US$ 12,000 had been saved for each patient who avoided hospitalization during the pandemic. By avoiding between 158,000 and 178,000 hospitalizations, net savings amounted to between US$ 1.9 billion and 2.1 billion.

The scientists also noted that Brazil had invested US$ 2.2 billion in immunizers from January to August 2021.

In Brazil, about 250,000 doses per day were applied between February and March of 2021. Between April and May, 500,000 to reach one million doses/day was achieved in June 2021.

“We know that Brazil could easily vaccinate one million people, based both on the campaign against H1N1 and on the COVID-19 campaign itself, which, between June and July, was vaccinating one million people,” Ferreira argued.

“Just the difference of having vaccinated 100,000 people to vaccinating 300,000 people at that moment, per day, which is not even half the capacity of the Unified Health System, would have already saved another 50,000 lives in the over-60s range alone,” Ferreira told Agência Brasil.

In January 2021 the dissemination of the Gamma variant caused a health crisis in Manaus. Although it was not possible to foresee the emergence of the new strain, which appeared in November, faster vaccination could have considerably reduced the peak in hospitalizations and deaths, especially among the elderly and in the states where the variant took longer to arrive, the experts argued.

They also pointed out that, halfway through 2021, vaccination was fundamental to prevent a new severe wave of cases of the Delta variant.

According to Brazil's Health Ministry, 35 million cases of COVID-19 have been registered nationwide since the beginning of the pandemic. During this period, 688,907 deaths were confirmed. (Source Agencia Brasil)

Categories: Health & Science, Brazil.

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