It seems like a miracle, but it is science. “We said it,” repeat the vaccination managers of the Ministry of Health of Chile. The truth is that, as if by magic, when the country reached 70% of the vaccinated target population -a universe of 15.8 million people- the new reported cases began to plummet.
This Thursday 2,336 new confirmed cases were reported in the last 24 hours, with a positivity of 3.3%. This means that out of every 100 people who underwent the PCR test, only three turned out to be carriers of the virus.
Chile have vaccinated since December of last year. On December 24, the first Pfizer vaccines arrived in Chile, which already exceed 6 million in total, but the bulk of those vaccinated have done so with the Chinese vaccine from the Sinovac laboratory. These two platforms are joined by Cansino, which is a single dose, and Oxford Astra-Zeneca.
Health Passport, Chile.
The effectiveness studies recently published in the “New England Journal of Medicine” for Sinovac, and corresponding to Phase 4, that is, the real world, are encouraging. Although you show less effectiveness in preventing infections (65,9), has an 87.5% effectiveness to prevent hospitalization and 90.3% to prevent ICU.
That is why the Chilean strategy was to reach 80% of the populationn objective, something that has already been achieved, but with a single dose. There are a few hundred thousand left to complete the scheme.
In short, from the scientific societies consulted by Clarion, point out that, since Sinovac is a vaccine that prevents infection less, “but at a very acceptable level”, the threshold to reach levels of protection was higher. And Chile seems to have succeeded.
The numbers are exhaustive: in the last 14 days new cases were reduced by 40% and the curves of decline in all regions of the country show steep slopes that coincide with the massive advance of vaccination. Today they have 13,569 active cases, while a week ago the number reached 17,590.
The “pass” to freedom
The history of the control of the pandemic in Chile has been marked by the closure and the curfew. The country has a process of 5 phases of deconfinement and, after the winter and the arrival of the second wave, practically the entire country was in total quarantine or weekends (Phase 1 and 2).
But the government announced the opening plan and the main protagonist is the mobility pass. The pass is a digital certificate that accredits the date of the two doses through a QR code and that, if scanned, shows a green screen that says “enabled” or red, in case there has been close contact with someone reported as infected.
How is the strategy? Basically the government defined capacity per phase. But the capacity is far away if the capacity for vaccinated people is chosen versus the capacity for all public. An example: an event in Phase 3, where all attendees have a mobility pass, can receive up to 1,000 people. But if the convener chooses to do it for the general public, the maximum capacity is 200.
A) Yes, the government transferred to the trade and organizers the incentive to control that all attendees have their pass. Also access control. The fines, for infractions, will be “substantial”, they assure from the executive. The bet is that, since the merchant or organizer wants to sell more, he only admits people with a pass and that this generates a chain effect for the laggards to complete their vaccination scheme.
The cinema, gyms, weddings or going to the Stadium will be some of the activities that will gradually return to be part of the daily life of Chileans.
With a smile. A boy greets the passing of a car painted like Lightning McQueen, in Santiago, in the middle of winter holidays. Photo: AFP
The “booster” or reinforcement, also known as third dose, it is a fact beyond the Andes. Last Monday, Minister Enrique Paris said that “we will advance in the third dose. And it will surely be similar to Israel, that is, we will start with the elderly with comorbidity ”.
All this, understanding the latent threat posed by the Delta variant, which in Chile already has 14 confirmed cases. Despite the success of vaccination, health authorities have been less successful than in the past, precisely because with Delta everything advanced can be reversed.
The Ministry of Health had been working silently for a few weeks on a pilot plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the reinforcement. It is being carried out at the Central Post Office and enrollment is voluntary.
There, different mechanisms are evaluated, as Rafael Araos, advisor to the vaccination plan in Chile, explains: “We are evaluating combined schemes and normal boosters. Namely, We are evaluating putting Pfizer to those who have two doses with Sinovac and Sinovac to those who have Pfizer ”.
These statements had been made a month ago in an interview recorded for Journalism for All, but it was released for the purposes of this chronicle.
Additionally, President Sebastián Piñera reported the acquisition of Moderna and Sputnik vaccines, all to guarantee the third dose to the population of the country. Chile is currently immunizing minors with Pfizer. The adult calendar is already complete and there are only left behind who voluntarily did not get vaccinated.
Santiago, special for Clarín