López Acuña urges to “act” before the new wave and urges to “take the step” for the fourth dose of vaccine in older people

“We are falling short in diagnostic capacity, contact tracing and isolation of people,” he warns.


The epidemiologist and former director of Sanitary Action in crisis situations of the WHO Daniel López Acuña has urged to “act” in the face of the “new wave” of covid-19 and, in this sense, has said he does not understand why “the step now” to vaccinate with the fourth dose those over 80 years of age and people who live in residences. He has also warned that “we have made a mistake in removing the mandatory isolation for positivity” and the mandatory indoor mask was eliminated “prematurely”.

In an interview granted to Onda Vasca, collected by Europa Press, he warned that there is a “remarkable upturn” in the incidence of covid-19, with an increase in hospitalization and admission to ICUs and “in the last two months a significant mortality”.

As he has indicated, “this has no other name than a new wave”, which was already being warned after decisions such as withdrawing the mandatory nature of the mask indoors or not isolating asymptomatic positives “in the context of a high incidence” .

In this sense, he stressed that, when the incidence in people over 60 years of age is around 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days on average in the State and ten communities exceed it, the situation is “quite critical”. In this sense, he specified that the “high” incidence in the elderly is due to the fact that it is the only one that is currently “monitored” but it is “no more than a reflection of the rest” of the population and that it is not being measured.

The expert has pointed out that by doing fewer diagnostic tests, “reality is being seen less” and, consequently, “underestimating the true magnitude of what is happening.” “We are falling short in diagnostic capacity, in contact tracing and in isolating people,” he said.

Given the current situation, he has defended that “action” and “take measures” would have to be taken, so what “worries about is the paralysis, the arms crossed, the fact that we are not doing what we should be doing to prevent this Keep growing”.

In his opinion, a first “urgent” measure should be to vaccinate those over 80 years of age and people living in residences with the fourth dose, which “the European Center for Disease Control recommended more than two months ago.”

“I don’t understand why the conference on vaccines, the Interterritorial Council, the Ministry of Health do not take the step to do this now. Do not wait for autumn, we have nothing to wait for,” said López Acuña, who recalled that the new Vaccine formulations with “more information regarding other variants” are not “ready”, so “move on”.

The expert has specified that having a vaccine that “deals with all the variants in real time” is not “feasible”, but new formulations are needed, with which there will be “not a fourth dose”, but “a new cycle of vaccination with different elements”.

On the other hand, he has stressed that “virtually 15 million people over 12 years of age in Spain have not received the third booster dose”, for which he has encouraged to make “a great effort” to “finish that task”.


Likewise, he has lamented that the use of a mask indoors was abandoned “prematurely” and has also been in favor of using it outdoors with crowds.

López Acuña believes that the fact that positive people are not isolated has been “a big mistake that has led to many infections” because that leads, “even with the use of a mask, to a higher risk of contagion.” In addition, he added, “not everyone is taking care of the rigorous use of a mask” being positive.

“We have made a mistake in removing the mandatory isolation due to positivity,” he added. As she has indicated, “even when you want to present it as a catarrillo”, the covid can generate “boxes of significant severity”.

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