The immunization process against Covid has gained a new stage and at least 80,341 elderly people aged 80 and over can receive the 4th dose of the vaccine, also called the second booster dose, in Ceará. This group received three doses of protection four months ago or more. Even with the availability of immunizations, part of the most vulnerable public is incomplete vaccination schedule.
The group able to receive the new application of the immunizing agent corresponds to 41% of all people in this age group living in Ceará, which has 195,691 elderly people over 80 years old, according to population estimate for 2021. Data are from the Ceará Health Department (Sesa).
It is possible to see from the numbers that more than half of this population does not have the vaccine schedule up to date. And this is evident in another piece of data: more than 123,000 elderly people did not receive booster shot of the vaccine against Covid in Ceará.
But who can receive the 4th dose of the Covid vaccine? The Ministry of Health recommended, on Wednesday (23), this application for the elderly over 80 years old and with four months apart 3rd dose, or booster dose.
The Ministry advises that the immunizer from Pfizer be used, but also Janssen or Astrazeneca, regardless of the vaccine previously applied. In Ceará, Sesa authorizes the start of the application in cities that have dose reservation.
there is no estimate revealed by the Municipal Health Department (SMS) for when the 4th dose will be available in the Capital. “The application of the fourth dose in the elderly, when initiated, will be disclosed”, informed the Pasta to the report.
Paulo Magalhães, physician and master in collective health, defends the importance of this stage because vaccines raise antibodies against the coronavirus, but in a way temporary. This means that after a while, still analyzed by scientists, protection against Covid drops.
“Both because of the emergence of new variants, which manage to evade the immune system, and because of time, since neutralizing antibodies tend to decrease”, reinforces the specialist.
With aging, there is a decrease in the body’s natural defenses and this puts the elderly in a more delicate situation, as he explains. “This population has to receive the 4th dose first, because they have a loss of the natural immune system”, he highlights.
Covid makes more victims among the elderly
The greater the age, the greater the vulnerability to Covid, as observed since the beginning of the pandemic. In Ceará, 26,708 died from the disease, with 7,650 victims over 80 years old, that is, 28.64% of all deaths.
The data are based on the records until this Sunday (27), as updated by Sesa. Check out the other age groups:
Paulo Magalhães contextualizes that the country has reached a good absolute number of vaccines, but there are still gaps. For example, the vaccine takes time to arrive in some locations and people miss the 2nd or 3rd dose.
“The Ômicron variant manages, even with three doses, to infect the population. It did not increase the level of severity of the infection, but it is more transmissible and this increased the number of cases”, he adds.
Therefore, the population needs to maintain efforts to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. The use of masks, even with the removal of the obligation in open spaces, remains an ally.
“Vaccination, mask, alcohol gel and distancing are still fundamental for the entire population and, especially, for the immunosuppressed and the elderly, who will soon start taking the 4th dose”, highlights Paulo.