The main challenge of Argentina today, before the stalking Delta variant, is to have all people at higher risk vaccinated with two doses against the coronavirus before the hurricane of the third wave is unleashed. Will it be possible? The Achilles heel of that target is the second vaccine component Sputnik V, whose production problems have made it too scarce a good.
In this context, the City expects the imminent start of a vaccine combination trial, which may be key to million Argentines they need a solution for that deficit. In the experiment, those who received the first dose of the Russian vaccine will get the second dose of AstraZeneca or that of Sinopharm, according to the group assigned to them.
The good news for the essay -also a symptom of anxiety- is that, contrary to what one might think a priori, there is a lot of people willing to be “guinea pigs”, hoping to find a personal solution and at the same time allow the plan to eliminate the Sputnik bottleneck work.
The registration was launched on Friday and until this Sunday night they had already signed up as potential volunteers for the trial almost 5 thousand people, at an average of three per minute in the first 24 hours. That is, more than ten times the number expected to have the first group that will be part of the investigation.
“Everyone who wants to participate will be able to sign up. Among the registered you will choose between 250 and 400 for the initial stage, which will begin in a few days, “explained sources from the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health. The start would be this week. The requirement to be part is to have received as primera dosis la Sputnik V at least 30 days ago and over 21 years of age.
The last arrival of the second component of Sputnik V, on June 29. Photo: Presidency
In addition to AstraZeneca and Sinopharm, there will be a third “control” group who will receive the second component of the Sputnik. And in the event that the vaccine of Cansino, a fourth group will also be enabled to test this combination.
The main purpose of researchers is to determine, on the one hand, the safety of this “health bet” and, at the same time, if the immune response with any of these combinations generates a similar antibody level to the one that exists with the complete schematic of Sputnik V.
The tests will be done in the Muñiz Hospital, as confirmed to Clarion official sources. It is estimated that at four weeks After applying the second doses, the results will be evaluated to draw conclusions. The start line is imminent, although the precise date was not yet defined.
A positive answer with any of the alternative vaccines, it could mean a great relief for all those who, as appropriate, hope to have the two doses of the vaccine after having received Sputnik in the first instance.
The Oxford and Chinese vaccines will be studied as an alternative to Sputnik Component 2. Photo: Presidency
An important notice for volunteers is on the City’s website where you can access the Registration Form: “By enrolling in the vaccine combination study you do not stop being registered to receive the second dose of the planned Covid-19 vaccine. If you signed up and received the turn to complete your scheme, it is important that prioritize your turn and do not participate in the study ”.
A hope opens
The City decided to start this trial from the delays that has been suffering the arrival of the second component of the Russian vaccine. This situation causes, of course, a big question mark for the millions of people who already received the development of the Gamaleya Institute as their first prick. The Muñiz experiment opens the hope of an answer.
The Buenos Aires initiative will be replicated to Nacional level, based on what was agreed at the meeting of the Federal Health Council last week. There it was decided to carry out similar trials in the provinces of Buenos Aires, San Luis and Córdoba. However, the national government is betting that Russia will continue to send the second doses, although it is not known in what proportion it will.
“At this moment we have with AstraZeneca and Sinopharm the insured schemes, 350,000 doses of the second component of Sputnik arrived that are being distributed and we expect to continue receiving, and generate this evidence – combination of vaccines – for specific situations “, Minister Carla Vizzotti explained on Friday, before a consultation from Clarion, at a press conference.
Minister Carla Vizzotti during a press conference last Friday. Photo: EFE
Those specific situations, said the official, are “that someone receives a vaccine and has an adverse event and change vaccine, that someone does not know what vaccine they received or that they arrive at a vaccination and there is no vaccine, do not miss the opportunity. If at some point there is any of the vaccines that is delayed, have the opportunity not to delay the immunization.
Determining all those questions mentioned by Vizzotti implies a goal more pretentious, and more complex vaccine crosses will have to be made in order to reach these conclusions. In the case of the City, on the other hand, the purpose is clearer and more precise: see if it can be replaced the second component of Sputnik V
Until now, the vaccine combinations in the world – what is known as heterologous vaccination – are in a germinal stage and exploratory. In some European countries, AstraZeneca alternates with Pfizer or Moderna, based on specific studies already carried out.
That is why the experiment that is now being opened in Buenos Aires territory takes on great importance, the results of which could become not only a national standard in case of being successful, but also in world reference: the eventually viable option for all countries that have contracted the unpredictable Russian vaccine.