While Europe is going through an upturn in infections that has made the continent the new epicenter of the pandemic from COVID-19, the local scientific and medical community continues to monitor the rise in positivity of the disease on the island and asks citizens not to lower their guard.
“It is the false sense of safety of the vaccine. And, despite the fact that in Puerto Rico there is a high percentage of vaccination at the United States level, there are still people who have not been vaccinated and others who have not received the ‘booster’ (booster dose) ”, said the doctor Jorge Santana Bagur.
Yesterday, the virus positivity rate was 3%. Considering that, from October 27 to November 2, the positivity was at 2.1%, there has been an increase in transmission.
According to data from Health DepartmentOnly one death from COVID-19 was reported yesterday, a 77-year-old man from the Arecibo region. Meanwhile, hospitalizations remain low. In total, 34 adults were hospitalized yesterday for complications associated with the disease, nine of them in intensive care units. At the pediatric level, there were two minors hospitalized with COVID-19, one of them under intensive treatment.
“I suspect that less than 20 to 25 percent of the people in Puerto Rico have received the ‘booster’. That (receiving the booster) is very important, because we know that after six months the effectiveness of the vaccine decreases”Said Santana Bagur, who is a professor at the School of Medicine of the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).
Health statistics indicate that, until yesterday, 344,599 people in Puerto Rico have already received the booster vaccine against COVID-19.
For its part, Lilliam Rodriguez, president and founder of VOCES: Vaccination Coalition of Puerto Rico, He reported that 1,166,418 people on the island have completed the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are in need of the “booster”. “You have to remind people that six months after the second dose is their turn for the booster,” said Rodríguez, who is a member of the Puerto Rico Scientific Coalition.
This means that those who received the second dose in April completed the six months in October, while those who were inoculated in May met this month, he stressed.
VOCES, Rodríguez said, has been giving the booster to anyone 18 years of age or older for several weeks. The federal government approved, on Friday, booster doses of the vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech and Modern against COVID-19 for everyone 18 years and older in the United States. Already some state governments and several American cities had chosen not to wait and approve a third booster dose for all adults.
While, As of Friday afternoon, 34,530 children between the ages of five and 11 had been vaccinated against the virus, according to Rodríguez, who highlighted that, between first, second and third doses, in Puerto Rico 5,157,423 vaccines have already been administered.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has shown its concern about the great rebound of the pandemic in Europe. The situation has caused countries on that continent to re-implement strict measures to try to stop infections, such as a total confinement in Austria.
“We have to use common sense and keep wearing masks, especially indoors,” said Santana Bagur.
The infectologist emphasized that it is urgent to remember that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has not yet ended, changed everyone’s life. “Prevention practices cannot yet be stopped. And people have to get the vaccine, “he insisted.
He also warned that a sense of total protection should not prevail among those vaccinated, since this product does not exempt from contagion, but rather reduces the risk of health complications if the person is infected.
“Everything will depend on the person’s (immune) system and the comorbidities they have,” said Santana Bagur.
Meanwhile, the graduate Ilia Toledo, president of the Toledo Clinical and Reference Laboratory, commented that the rise in the positivity of the virus on the island could be the result of the COVID-19 outbreak that was reflected in several prisons in the country.
He argued that, at a general level and in schools in the country, the transmission of the virus is still low.
Meanwhile, Dr. Miguel Colón commented that the increase in cases has not caused an increase in hospitalizations due to the virus, which, in his opinion, are low.
“Thank God we haven’t seen it. And I hope it stays that way. That is due to the vaccine. We are going super well (in vaccination) ”, highlighted the infectologist.