Pilar Cisneros, deputy and head of the ruling Social Democratic Progress Party (PPSD), affirmed in the plenary session of the Legislative Assembly that the vaccine against covid-19 is experimental. Although she was asked what scientific support she based her statements on, to date she has not responded.
The statement was made on the afternoon of Monday, May 16. That day, in the framework of a speech to defend the first actions of the Government, the ruling party said that the administration of the President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves, opened a serious discussion on the use of masks and “the convenience of maintaining the obligation of an experimental vaccine against covid-19”.
However, although Chaves said on May 8 that he had eliminated the compulsory nature of the vaccine with a decree, actually didn’t; he lacked a technical criterion for it. What the decree does is urge public and private employers not to punish those who do not get vaccinated with dismissal, an action that has awakened doubts among jurists.
In any case, after signing the decree, President Chaves invited people to get vaccinated and stated that he did it himself, without resorting to the argument that vaccination is experimental, an allegation that anti-vaccine groups do use.
To date, 85% of the population in Costa Rica have at least one vaccine against covid and 80% have two doses. In addition, immunization in children has already been enabled and the fourth dose applies to those over 50 years of age and those over 12 with immune problems.
María Luisa Ávila, pediatrician, infectologist and former Minister of Health, explained that the vaccines used in the country they have gone through all the stages of research that are required, and are currently in phase four, in which proven drugs such as aspirin are found, for example.
“What doña Pilar says is wrong, she is a journalist who should investigate more”added Ávila, who detailed step by step how the doses supplied to Costa Ricans are not “experimental.”
The nation also requested the virologist Eugenia Corrales a reaction to what Cisneros said; however, she is she indicated: “I don’t think I have to put more of my effort into this.” This professional has explained on many occasions how these vaccines work.
As explained by María Luisa Ávilathe first part is called the preclinical phasein which the laboratory tests with animals From this stage, many vaccines do not pass, since it must be certain that there are no effects with the molecule; in case these are presented, the investigation immediately stops.
Avila commented that then the second phase is entered, that of controlled clinical trialswhich is made up of three steps. The first It consists of the participation of volunteers, to make sure the vaccine is safe in humans; in it second step it is confirmed that the vaccine is immunogenic, produce immunity to the stimulus.
Once these phases have been overcome, the step three. In this, a group of people is divided into two. Half are given placebos or an inert substance, and the other half is given the dose, in order to analyze the level of immunity produced by the vaccine.
The specialist explained that finally, phase four is entered, the post-marketing stage, in which the vaccine kept until removed from the marketbecause it is already a safe drug.
In this stage are the vaccines against covid-19 such as those of Pfizer, AstraZenecaapplied in Costa Rica.
“The vaccines that are currently being used in Costa Rica are the vaccines that they have already gone through all those phases; then, it can no longer be considered an experimental vaccine. That times were shortened, yes, it is true, but we are facing a pandemic; we can’t wait all the time in the world.
“This is the first time in the world that human resources, economic resources, that the whole world agreed to achieve this vaccine, but this does not mean that they are experimental”, commented the former Minister of Health.
The infectologist explained that, for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, technology was used messenger RNA and adenovirus as a viral vector, respectively, platforms that began to be generated in the 1960s. Tests were carried out on these and produced results.
In addition, he commented that there were already advances in the subject of SARS, a virus that the world faced more than a decade ago, so there was knowledge in the matter, since a vaccine was created to combat it.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not only authorized the covid-19 vaccines available in the country, but has also continuously updated the forms since December 2020. authorized use; Thanks to this, there is already child vaccination.
Even on May 17, the FDA reported that, in the United States, children between the ages of 5 and 11 could soon receive a third dose reinforcement against covid-19 from the companies Pfizer and BioNTech, thanks to their safety.
**After publishing this note, the pro-government congresswoman indicated that her statements in plenary were supported by an FDA publication, made in December 2020.
The legislator argued that at that time the FDA authorized the emergency use of a vaccine with benefits and risks that were unknown at that time.