hospitalization of the elderly grows again in Joinville; doctor explains causes

With the vaccination of elderly people against Covid-19, Joinville even registered a drop in hospitalization for this public after the application of two doses of the vaccine. This was one of the first priority groups to receive immunization about eight months ago. However, recently, the number of cases of elderly patients who had to be hospitalized because of the disease has returned to grow, warns the Secretary of Health, Jean Rodrigues da Silva.

According to infectologist Marcelo Mulazani, the elderly public naturally has the lowest immunity, which can influence the percentage and duration of the vaccine’s effectiveness at this age. “There is a loss of the immune response over time, which can reduce the duration of the immune response”, says the doctor.

A survey coordinated by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) shows that the effectiveness of vaccines against Covid-19 is impacted by the age of the person taking the dose.

According to a study carried out with 75.9 million people immunized with the Oxford/AstraZeneca and CoronaVac vaccines, there is a reduction in protection with increasing age. Data are from people vaccinated in Brazil, collected between January 18 and July 24, 2021.

The results show that, with the two doses, both vaccines offer protection against moderate and severe cases of Covid-19 and are effective in protecting against infection, hospitalization and death. In general, those who take AstraZeneca/Fiocruz have 90.2% protection against death, and those who take CoronaVac, 73.7%.

However, considering the age group of people who took the immunizations, those aged between 80 and 89 years who took the AstraZeneca/Fiocruz vaccine obtained a protection rate against death of 89.9%, while those who took CoronaVac obtained a protection of 67.2%. Over 90 years, these rates were 65.4% among those vaccinated with AstraZeneca/Fiocruz and 33.6% among those immunized with CoronaVac.

Therefore, the application of the third dose has been debated. For the Health Secretary, this is a strategy that could work. “International studies even point to the reinforcement of immunization for priority groups, which have been immunized for more than eight months,” he says. In the city, the elderly population began to be vaccinated in late January.

In Santa Catarina, this booster dose has already been approved and can be applied from this Wednesday, 1st, to elderly people over 70 years old and, from September 15th, to people with a high degree of immunosuppression. The booster dose will be administered to patients who completed the vaccination schedule for at least 6 months, regardless of the immunizing agent applied.

The Joinville physician believes that the best way out is to ensure reinforcement for prevention. Still, it highlights that, alone, vaccination does not guarantee total protection to the individual, therefore, it is necessary to continuity of mask use and avoid agglomerations.

“I reinforce the continuity of non-pharmacological containment measures, which is the mask, distance, alcohol gel and avoid circulating the flu”, recommends the Secretary of Health.

General increase in admissions

In addition to the hospitalization of the elderly, Joinville has registered a general increase in the occupancy rate of beds in the Covid-19 ICU this last August. On the 1st it was 87%, it reached 96% on the 20th and, on this Tuesday, the 31st, it is at 91%.

According to Jean, the increase in admissions follows the number of new confirmed and active cases, which also increased in August. At the moment, the secretariat has been working for the continuation of the vaccination campaign, he explains, so that the circulation of the virus can be reduced.

The infectologist states that the profile of admissions, mostly, they are people who have not yet been immunized or who have received only the first dose of the immunizing agent. “We can’t say it’s a flaw in the vaccine, since he took only one dose,” he says.

The doctor also emphasizes that the greater the proportion of people vaccinated, the lower the chance of the virus circulating. “The great engine of this whole process is the issue of the population immunized with a second dose, so we can feel the impact of society”, comments the Secretary of Health.

Currently, Joinville has 161,331 people vaccinated with the second dose or even the single dose vaccine. That is, 26.6% of the population is with the complete vaccination schedule. Meanwhile, another 242,665 took only the first dose, so 40.1% still need to receive the second dose. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Joinville has 604,708 residents.

*With information from Agência Brasil.

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