The moment of truth has arrived to achieve group immunity: the novelties that change the rules of the game (Clear X # 132)
January was the month in which we talk about the start of the vaccination campaign, of the accounts to be able to achieve group immunity in the desired period, towards the summer; and of the challenges that we then had ahead of us to combat the advance of the virus, this time by means of vaccines.
In January we learned about the problems caused by the shortage of roads, in February we recovered and in March we are finishing the first phase, something that has a double meaning: now mass vaccination begins, that of population groups with less logistical difficulties, something that will speed up the deadlines and increase the pace; and also with the arrival of the long-awaited Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which change the rules we played by until now. It only requires one dose, and also its conservation is easier, since it is enough with domestic refrigerators. It’s the time for the truth.
We talked about this in the last episode of Despeja la X, in which we participated Javier Lacort (@jlacort), editor of Engadget; and Javier Jiménez (@dronte), also editor of this house. The production runs as always by Santi Araújo (@santiaraujo).
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Some problems and many opportunities
The vaccination rate has been accelerating over the weeks. After a slow start that was also marked by Pfizer’s delays in the delivery of doses, something that led to a halt at the end of January, we have reached March with almost 150,000 doses given each day, something that brings the goal of vaccinating the 70% to achieve group immunity. At this rate, we would reach it in the spring of 2022.
With the pace reached and the transition to more logistics-friendly phases, as well as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is reason for optimism
Nevertheless, This new phase promises a much higher speed. So much for the target groups, much easier to manage than the previous ones; as well as a greater availability of vials, as well as the aforementioned Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which reduces by half the number of administrations necessary to complete the vaccination dose and of which Spain Twenty million doses have already been secured for the next few months, 10% of those destined for the European Union.
With this scenario, it is highly feasible to reach the end of the summer with that horizon of 70% of the vaccinated population, and thus aspire to a much calmer and more normal autumn than the previous one, the one that unleashed two waves. With a higher rate of reception of doses and administration of doses, it would even be feasible to think about advancing that period and reaching the goal during the summer, although that would imply multiplying the current rate by three, which has had a setback with discontinuation of AstraZeneca vaccination for at least fifteen days.
Of course, AstraZeneca is not the only risk that threatens this perspective that lets us glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel: the appearance of new strains always comes with the doubt of how much resistance current vaccines will offer to them. A risk that is still there and that can be a jug of cold water for optimism.
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