“Now that we’re in a recovery phase, that’s when we need to vaccinate our whole family, the children who are already fit, the teenagers, the adults, the elderly. It’s already happened in the last two of the pandemic”. The request was made by the Secretary of State for Health, Nésio Fernandes, during a speech on Monday afternoon (1).
During the acute phase of the fifth wave, 100 beds were mobilized in the intensive care units (ICU) and 100 in the service reserved for seriously ill patients with Covid-19. There were 74,000 cases in June and July. Regarding deaths, “we even had a seven-day rolling average of deaths above eight deaths per day in the first week of July”, a number which fell to 2.71 deaths / day in the rolling average of the last seven days .
Despite the expectation of a consolidation of the recovery phase of the fifth wave of the pandemic during this month of August, as expected by the Secretary of State for Health (Sesa) in May, Nésio Fernandes warned that “the pandemic continues to present the circulation of new variants, representing a risky scenario that requires everyone’s attention and mobilization”.
The lack of vaccination coverage, he said, is mainly due to “the lack of clear, unified and coordinated communication at the national level”. However, “vaccines are the main public health measure of primary prevention capable of interrupting the behavior of hospitalizations of seriously ill patients and deaths in the proportions we are experiencing this year”, reinforced the official.
In this sense, it is urgent to update the vaccination schedule of the population that is evolving the most towards death in this period of resumption of the fifth phase. “These are people who took their last dose of vaccine last year. We would like the people of Espírito Santo to seek the health service to update their vaccination schedule.”
In the months with the lowest levels of pandemic indicators, between April and May, there was a reduction in demand for vaccines in the state. “We had about 535,000 doses applied between April and May. And between June and July, more than 600,000 doses. That’s not enough.”
The “current technological generation of vaccines”, he pointed out, “is able to reduce the risk of hospitalizations and deaths in a very satisfactory way and, combined with drug treatment, it is possible to have an even reduction higher in the number of deaths”, he explained, referring to two drugs already approved by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa): baricitinib, for hospital and pre-hospital use, and Paxlovid, for domestic use. .
The first has already been integrated by the Espírito Santo Unified Health System (SUS) and is used in all hospitals that treat patients with Covid. The indication is for severe cases, except for those using mechanical ventilation. Soon the drug will also be used in pre-hospital units. “I approved today [segunda,1] in the morning, the prescription that regulates the protocol for the provision of this drug by the prehospital network. The UPA and AP of Grande Vitória will live a pilot project in the next few weeks of availability of baricitinib to be used before admission to the hospital unit. We plan to expand the methodology to other areas of the state,” he announced.
As for Paxlovid, Sesa is waiting for the Ministry of Health to finalize the acquisition, to provide its use among the most vulnerable population, formed mainly by the elderly and immunocompromised, in the home treatment of mild cases.
“The two drugs plus the updated vaccination have a very high possibility of a second half of lesser repercussion of hospitalizations and deaths”, he reinforced.
Regarding monkeypox, the so-called monkeypox, Nésio Fernandes said that there is an “epidemiological silence”, with underdiagnosis throughout the country, explained by a few reasons: low offer of tests by the Ministry of Health and by “a reduction in the risk of perception of clinical and diagnostic suspicion on the part of health professionals in the private and public network”.
The association of high disease risk persists among healthcare professionals only in the population group formed by men who have sex with men (MSM). “It’s not appropriate,” he said. “It is a disease associated with risky behaviors and social relationships that are established through close skin-to-skin contact, and infections can occur in people outside the MSM group. Monkeypox, like Covid-19, does not choose those who have direct contact with people with lesions can be infected, regardless of their age and sexual orientation”.
Thus, Sesa prepares an update of technical standards and organizes courses and training for professionals in private and public networks, “increasing our capacity for clinical suspicion and seeking to make it possible to carry out the tests on the ground of Espírito Santo in the month of August”.
The secretary also stressed that “it is not a benign disease”, because “the bodily pains in the lesions are significant, especially in the mucous membranes”. The risk of a disease, he explained, cannot be assessed solely by its lethality, “but also by the suffering caused and the capacity for transmission”. The orientation for the entire population is: “in the face of injuries, consult a doctor”.