Every time a person is vaccinated against COVID-19, the virus has one less chance to spread. This is how little by little, vaccine after vaccine, each little prick contributes to writing the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
In Spain there are already nine million citizens who have received at least one dose against the coronavirus and more than three million who have received the two injections necessary to forge immunity. There is already more than 19% of the Spanish population that breathes a little easier knowing that, after receiving their first vaccine, they are helping to build an individual and collective shield against the coronavirus.
The shots show that there is light at the end of the tunnel . But as biophysicist Daniel López Codina explained a few days ago in a statement to this newspaper , “pay attention to the path we take because, if we relax too much, the car could derail before reaching the end of the tunnel .”
This bittersweet metaphor once again appeals to the same old message. The future of the pandemic is written through decisions on a small and large scale, from citizen behavior to prevention and control measures. The good news is that the end of the pandemic is getting closer. But it is still missing. Until then; calm, prudence and vaccinations.
What to do after the vaccine
If you have already received your first vaccine against covid-19, congratulations. Now you can breathe a little more calmly . First, because thanks to this injection, your body is creating a battalion of antibodies to defend itself against an eventual infection. It is estimated that two weeks after the first puncture your immune system has already built a robust shield .
This means that if you ever come into contact with the virus, you are far less likely to get sick and develop serious health problems. The second reason for joy is that your vaccine is also helping to build a herd immunity against the virus. The same that will allow you to return to normality.
What covid vaccines are given in Spain? Types and side effects
Three months after the first punctures against the coronavirus in Spain, the protective effect of vaccines is shown more and more clearly. Antigens have already shielded residences for the elderly . Both the contagion and mortality curves have plummeted in nursing homes.
Experts estimate that when those over 70 are already vaccinated, deaths from covid-19 will drop by up to 75% and the rate of hospitalizations will drop to 45% . These are the figures that help to glimpse the end of the pandemic. And what greater reason for joy after such a catastrophic year.
What not to do after the vaccine
Vaccines bring a dose of calm and optimism, yes. But at least for now, this euphoria doesn’t mean we can let our guard down . The reasons are various. For starters, vaccines are not 100% effective, so there is a percentage of vaccinated patients who are still susceptible to the virus.
Also, as a fourth wave of infections floods across Europe , there is a risk that elusive variants for vaccines will spread . In South Africa and Brazil, for example, it has already been observed that the efficacy of some vaccines falls against certain mutations of the virus . This phenomenon not only worries at the local level, but also calls for extreme precautions around the world. At least until the long-awaited herd immunity is achieved.
Vaccinating those over 70 will reduce deaths from covid by 75%, but the ucis will remain full
In the short term, then, life after vaccinations should be as cautious as before the injection. “Until a significant proportion of the population is vaccinated, it is vital that all people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, continue to maintain prevention measures,” says the Ministry of Health.
The recommendations remain the same . Mask, hand washing, distance and ventilation. For now, also among people who have already been vaccinated (either with one or two doses).
In the medium term, some voices suggest easing restrictions among those who have already been vaccinated . In Israel , for example, there are already spaces where immunized people can swarm without restrictions (such as in shops, hotels and cultural venues).
While in Europe, the Twenty-seven are working on a vaccination certificate that facilitates the mobility of those who have already received the drug . These proposals, not without controversy, are presented as a ‘temporary patch’ to give air to the economy while forging collective immunity.
In the long term, as the number of people immunized against COVID-19 increases, everything indicates that the world will gradually return to its old habits. To the long-awaited old normality. The aspirational horizon is the following.
A 70% of the immunized population and cumulative incidence of less than 25 cases per 100,000 . In other words, a world in which the virus has little room for maneuver. When this objective is achieved not only in Spain but throughout the globe, we will be able to talk about the covid-19 pandemic in the past. Until then, as we said before, calm down, prudence and vaccinations.