Covid-19 admissions drop in São Paulo

Since mid-June, already in the 24th Epidemiological Week, the state of São Paulo had been showing a constant drop in the number of new admissions for covid-19. Last week, between the 29th of August and the 4th of September (35th Epidemiological Week), the state registered its lowest hospitalization rate per covid-19 of the year, with an average of 639 new admissions per day. but this downtrend has stopped occurring this week.

According to the data presented, it is still not possible to speak of a new increase in hospitalizations. But the downward trend was interrupted and there has been a stabilization in the numbers, which worries the Coronavirus Contingency Center in São Paulo, despite the number of cases and deaths continuing to fall. The increase in hospitalizations could mean a worsening of the pandemic in the state.

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On his social networks, the executive coordinator of the Coronavirus Contingency Center in São Paulo, João Gabbardo, wrote yesterday (9) that this reversal in the downward trend in hospital admissions may indicate “the first signs of the spread of the Delta variant in São Paulo, which should be aggravated by recent agglomerations and relaxation in the use of masks”.

The delta variant was initially identified in India and is more transmissible, which has been causing an increase in cases all over the world, even in places with a high rate of vaccination. In São Paulo, the Delta variant is already predominant in 69.7% of the samples analyzed.

The InfoTracker platform, made by researchers from the largest universities in São Paulo, and which uses official data as a basis, informs that the number of hospitalized people was in constant decline in São Paulo. But this week that curve started to reverse. As of September 6, there were 5,601 hospitalized people across the state, and 2,788 of them were in serious condition, in intensive care unit (ICU) beds. Yesterday (9), the number of hospitalized reached 5,675.

For João Gabbardo, the state will need to accelerate the application of the second dose of vaccines and increase the number of people with the complete vaccination schedule to try to prevent hospitalizations for covid-19, caused by the Delta variant, can grow in São Paulo. Studies around the world have shown that two doses of covid-19 vaccine are effective against the Delta variant.

However, there has been a lack of vaccine for the application of the second dose in people who took the immunizing agent from AstraZeneca/Oxford/Fiocruz. Since Monday (6), there is a lack of doses of this immunizing agent across the state. The government of São Paulo charged the Ministry of Health for the lack of doses of the immunizing agent, but the ministry replied that the state did not comply with the provisions of the National Immunization Program (PNI) and did not reserve the vaccine for the second dose, using them for advance your first dose schedule.

The state government is studying advancing the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for those who took the first dose of this immunizing agent, reducing the interval from three months to two months. But there are also not enough doses of this vaccine for the interval to be reduced.

“Unfortunately we don’t have Pfizer and AstraZeneca for that, yet we will continue without backtracking on the goal of vaccinating the greatest number of people, with the vaccines available,” wrote Gabbardo, on Twitter.

The state government started this week the application of a third dose, starting with people over 90 years of age, due to the low immune response of the elderly and immunosuppressed, and it decreases six months after the second application. This group, in general, received the CoronaVac/Butantan/Sinovac vaccine.

The government of São Paulo is already studying the application of a fourth dose.

Since the 17th of August, the government of São Paulo has put an end to restrictions on the operation of commerce and services, putting an end to the limit on hours and service capacity. The measure received much criticism from experts, who assessed that the number of people who had completed their vaccination schedule was still small and the Delta variant manages to escape the protection afforded only by the first dose.

The government has already applied more than 55 million doses of vaccine against covid-19, with 78.8% of the population taking the first dose and only 43.9% completed their vaccination schedule.

The bed occupancy rate in intensive care units in São Paulo is 33%.