the third dose of the doctors and the bid of the laboratories

The third dose against him CovidDespite the first official forecasts that were scheduled for next year, it is accelerating in Argentina. The Government announced that this week it will seek consensus with the National Immunization Commission and the committee of experts to advance with this reinforcement by health personnel vaccinated more than 6 months ago. That is, the vast majority.

The question that opens is which vaccine they will choose and if that decision will play an important stop in the bid of the moment for the kingdom of the booster: Sputnik Light (first dose of V) versus Pfizer. Doctors were a priority in the vaccination plan, immunized mainly with the Russian vaccine and with Sinopharm.

A first question is whether all individuals registered as health personnel You will receive the third dose immediately or if, as happened with the population over 50 years of age, in principle only those immunized with the Chinese inactivated virus vaccine will benefit. Also, if the criterion will now be to limit the reinforcement to those who work in hospitals and clinics.

So far in the national operation, a total of 1,969,169 people they were registered as health personnel when they were vaccinated (they received 3,932,338 doses). To pay off that third and only extra dose there would be, shortly, stock of both Sputnik V and Pfizer. Other available brands could also eventually be added.

From the contract for 30 million doses with the Russians, it would still be necessary to receive 3.7 million doses of component 1. The remaining balance should correspond, in principle, to second doses, so that the supply of both components is balanced. Although if the idea is to use Sputnik boosters, you should have more components 1 than 2.

Some of the vaccines on the Covid market, all available in Argentina. Photo: Reuters

On the Pfizer side, the Government must ensure 8,560,800 doses to vaccinate all Argentines between the ages of 12 and 17 with complete schedules. From the contract with Pfizer for 20 million doses (fully planned for before the end of the year) would be available 11,439,200 doses (You have to discount those used as second doses of AstraZeneca).

Until now they arrived in the country 7,977,060 doses of PfizerTherefore, with 583,740 more arriving, the stock necessary to cover all adolescents will be completed and what arrives from then on could be used for another purpose. For example, third doses for doctors.

The decision that the government must make is key. A primarily sanitary choice, but in which geopolitics does not escape. That is, opting for the Russian or American vaccine in a equitable accessibility scenario between one and another inoculant. The good news is the choice.

The Government and in particular the Province of Buenos Aires have had a manifest empathy with the Gamaleya Center. Both from the symbolic point of view (the colors of the Buenos Aires vaccination campaign, as Clarion, son identical to those of the Russian) and from the practical, with the use of local scientific resources for studies on Sputnik V and the auspicious dissemination of the results obtained.

Beyond those details, the crucial fact is what is the best booster and in particular for health personnel, a sensitive target. The Russians have lately been promoting Sputnik Light as a booster, sometimes even explicitly to the detriment of its messenger RNA competitors.

A woman receives a dose of Sputnik Light in Ukraine.  Photo: Reuters

A woman receives a dose of Sputnik Light in Ukraine. Photo: Reuters

There were several announcements. “In preliminary results of a study carried out with 4 thousand Muscovites it was observed that a single injection of the Sputnik Light vaccine raised the number of antibodies to almost double“Alexander Ginzburg, director of the Gamaleya Center, said recently. He indicated that” Sputnik Light can serve as booster from any other vaccine“.

The Russian Fund for Direct Investment also reported the interim results of a study in Argentina, on 1,102 volunteers in five provinces. “Sputnik Light is a universal reinforcement effective for the vaccines produced by Astrazeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino “, they pointed out, although in this case it was applied as a second heterologous dose.

The developers of Sputnik V also assured that the single-dose version showed an efficacy against the Delta variant. greater than 75 percent in those under 60 and 70 percent in seniors, during the first three months, according to a study with 28,000 volunteers in Moscow. “These indicators exceed those of many vaccines two-component foreign companies, “said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investor Fund.

Outside of those statements, an article published in The Lancet magazine indicated that Sputnik Light developed a strong humoral and cellular immune response both in people who had had coronavirus and in those who did not suffer from the disease, according to the results of a phase study. 1 and 2 performed in 110 volunteers healthy between 18 and 59 years.

Regarding the Pfizer booster, the Clalit Research Institute, in collaboration with Harvard University, produced a study on the effectiveness against the Delta variant. He did it in Israel, from July 30 to September 23, 2021.

The application of third doses of Pfizer in Israel allowed to draw conclusions.  Photo: AFP

The application of third doses of Pfizer in Israel allowed to draw conclusions. Photo: AFP

The experts reviewed data from more than 728 thousand people older than 12 years who had received the third dose of the vaccine and who had only two injections of the same brand, administered at least five months before.

The results, published in The Lancet, showed that those who received three doses of the vaccine had a 93 percent lower risk of hospitalization; 92 percent lower risk of serious illness; and an 81 percent lower risk of death. All compared to people who had only two doses.

Pfizer also released the Phase 3 results of its booster vaccine on October 23. 10,000 people over the age of 16 were followed. They claim that the efficacy was 95.6 percent against symptomatic Covid, with Delta as the predominant variant. The trial participants received the booster, on average, 11 months later of your second dose.

Based on the evidence, the Government must now choose which inoculant to use as third dose for health personnel. In addition to those of Pfizer and Sputnik, it could be added as a third option – just in the first quarter of 2022 – Moderna or a remnant of 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca that remains to reach the country.

The most powerful alternatives to reach the booster throne have been the Russian and the American Pfizer, protagonists of loves and dislikes in Argentina. With no less detail that Sputnik continues to be, to this day, the one that still waiting for authorization of the World Health Organization.