Everything we are about to tell happens one day when – after weeks and weeks in which the number of positives was constantly decreasing – for the first time, in Liguria, the data on the contagions of the pandemic has returned to grow. To be precise, the Covid positives in the region are 8574, that is 76 more than the previous day and four deaths, of which one, who died at the hospital in Sarzana, was 43 years old. And these numbers are almost a sad accompaniment to the words of Matteo Bassetti, coordinator of the Ligurian regional intercompany Department of Infectious Diseases and director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic of the San Martino Polyclinic Hospital in Genoa, the largest hospital in Europe, which participates at the presentation of the campaign for the new updated vaccine, together with Giovanni Toti, president and councilor for health of the Liguria Region: “If you are in the risk category – explains Bassetti – you don’t have to wait to receive the updated booster of the anti Covid vaccine, because it might be late “.
Bassetti: “New wave in October”
Also because, without engaging in psychological terrorism, but Bassetti cannot escape from an easy prediction, given that “it is clear that the virus will raise its head and will probably return to circulate from the mid-end of October”.
Bassetti explains: “It is of fundamental importance to recommend that people over 65 and younger people with comorbidities get a vaccination as soon as possible. The vaccine updated on the Omicron 1 variant is able to guarantee protection also against the other Omicron sub-variants. So if you fall into the risk categories, you don’t have to wait. The Infectious Diseases Clinic has been Covid free for ten days now, a sign of the fact that vaccines have worked in their role of avoiding hospitalizations and severe forms “.
Vaccines are not like cell phones
The explanation of the director of the San Martino Infectious Diseases Clinic, alongside the managers of regional health, is full of images to reinforce his words. And, both in the Toti press conference and in the “personalized” interviews, starting with the one with the Dire news agency, Bassetti (and also the interviewer Simone D’Ambrosio, it must be said) prove to be the champion of metaphors: ” Vaccines – explains the Genoese infectious disease specialist – are not like cell phones: the ones that are available now are fine, you don’t need to wait three or four weeks for the new model. The majority of the population today has antibodies, but some of them lose them faster and that is precisely the one for which the fourth dose is foreseen ”.
The cicada and the ant
The No Vax concerns and the talk of freedom are already present in Bassetti’s answers: “No one is here to impose anything, but to recommend vaccination to some sections of the population most at risk. Today getting vaccinated is an opportunity, an act of love towards oneself, others and also towards the health system ”. And, in an imaginative crescendo of metaphors, Italy’s most famous infectious disease specialist explains why it is right to do what, technically, is called “second booster” as soon as possible: “Today we should be ants, while the Italians they are mainly making cicadas, standing on the branch of the tree playing the guitar, thinking that winter will not come and that it will not be a harsh winter anyway. Cicadas reassured also by the pandemic trend in summer. But in reality, doing the ants, in this moment of calm, means making provisions for the winter, or putting aside the antibodies in view of an increase in the circulation of the virus, probably in mid-late October. There is only one way to do this: get vaccinated. In short, being an ant means doing the booster dose “.
No vaccination obligation
Bassetti reiterates: “No obligations, no constraints, but explaining that the better we do this phase, the better next autumn-winter will be”. And even the recipients of the message are limited: “Over 60, even better still over 65, and younger subjects at risk, ultra-vulnerable, with comorbidities. The other categories can wait for now ”.
According to Bassetti, whose name as a technician is regularly in the totoministers for the Ministry of Health and also for that of the University in the event of a victory of the center-right (but the Third Pole also likes), the example to follow for everyone is that of ” my Liguria “:” I am very proud of Ligurian healthcare: outside of here we are taken as a national example. If all the Regions had behaved like us, many of the mortality figures would have been different. We are the first Italian Region to prescribe the three antiviral drugs, with an almost door-to-door service of the drug that arrives home quickly; we were by far the first to use monoclonals; we were the first to change our attitude towards Covid-19, trying to discharge patients as soon as possible and passing the treatment from the hospital to the territory. Without forgetting the important response from the citizens towards the vaccination campaign ”.
Vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant
Concepts confirmed by Toti and Filippo Ansaldi, professor of general and applied hygiene at the University of Genoa and general manager of Alisa, which is a bit like the control room of Ligurian health care: “Although never as in this moment we have a low pressure in terms of patients on average intensity and in intensive care in our hospitals, we must not forget that last year – albeit in a different epidemiological situation, circulation of variants and vaccination coverage – we witnessed a significant increase in pressure in the autumn hospital which had its peak in January. This is because from the autumn the circulation of respiratory viruses is destined to increase and, therefore, also that of Covid. Today there are also vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant that can give an important answer: the m-RNA vaccine (original strain + BA.1 strain, whose administration started last week, and the m-RNA.4 vaccine / 5 coming in the next few days. It is very important to make it clear that the booster dose with the adapted vaccines determines a good immune response as a second booster, higher than what we would have if we did the booster dose with the previous vaccines. In addition, the pressure models hospital based on the type of vaccine that can be carried out confirm that it is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible with the best vaccine available.
Better not to delay getting immunized
Waiting for November to have a vaccine even better adapted to the variants would not guarantee a better result in terms of prevention in view of autumn and winter ”. Also because Bassetti also puts in a historical-statistical notation, which has particular value since he too, who is not only a primary in the ward, a university professor, used to dealing with his counterparts from all over the world also on numbers: “I have never found in history no vaccine that gave the results we had with Covid vaccines ”.