The Central Public Health Laboratory of Bahia (Lacen-BA) detected this Thursday (26), through genetic sequencing, three samples of the Indian variant of Covid-19 (Delta) and a South African (Beta) in the state . Governor Rui Costa met with technicians from the Health Department of the State of Bahia (Sesab) and proposed the immediate start of the third dose in all municipalities that have reached the age of 18 years. The measure will be the agenda of the meeting of the Bipartite Intermanagers Commission (CIB) scheduled for this Friday (27), which is a deliberative instance of the SUS that brings together representatives from 417 municipalities.
According to the acting state secretary of Health, Tereza Paim, “281 municipalities fit this characteristic, and immunization should preferably be done with a dose of Pfizer, or alternatively, with the viral vector vaccine from Pfizer. Janssen or AstraZeneca”, he says. The booster dose is estimated for an audience of more than 950,000 Bahians, and the action will be aimed at all immunosuppressed individuals 28 days after the second dose and for people over 70 years of age who have been vaccinated for 6 months.
As a containment measure, Sesab will also carry out screening through antigen testing and RT-PCR in the regions where the variants were detected. All patients admitted to ICUs with Covid-19 will have samples collected and sequenced to identify the type of variant. “It is necessary for municipalities to speed up vaccination to prevent the advance of new strains, as well as maintain social distance, frequently sanitize their hands and continue to wear a mask”, emphasizes Tereza Paim.
The secretary also explains that, despite the detection of these variants, Gamma (formerly P.1, originating in Manaus) is still responsible for almost 80% of infections in the state. “Two crew members of a ship with a foreign flag tested positive for the Delta and Beta variant, however, in this case, the vessel was in isolation, making it impossible to contact. The other two samples were detected in patients residing in the cities of Feira de Santana and Vereda”, says Tereza Paim.
Recognized as the 3rd largest laboratory surveillance unit in the country and classified in the highest quality category by the Ministry of Health, Lacen-BA analyzed samples from more than 150 municipalities in the nine Regional Health Centers. In 11 months, Lacen-BA already performed 520 genetic sequencing tests of the Covid-19 virus
The choice of samples for sequencing was based on the representativeness of all geographic regions of the state of Bahia, suspected cases of reinfection, samples of individuals who progressed to death, contacts of individuals with attention variants (VOC) and individuals who traveled to circulation area of the new variants with characteristic clinical symptoms.