Vaccination: Yamid Amat interviews the Secretary of Health, Alejandro Gómez – Bogotá

Bogotá is moving towards total immunity against the coronavirus, and it is expected that by the end of this month, 90 percent of the capital’s population will be vaccinated, at least with one dose.

“That is the purpose,” said the Secretary of Health of Bogotá, Alejandro Gómez López, with optimism. Doctor, specialist in health audit, the high official said that “in June, out of every 100 examinations, 40 were positive. Today, only two are positive ”.

Secretary Gómez also announced that vaccination in schools begins tomorrow. At the beginning of his dialogue with EL TIEMPO, he cited figures on the progress of vaccination in the city.

“On Bogota we are 7’834.167. If we take out people over 12 years of age, this is what we call the ‘vaccinable population’, there are 6’668,741 people. Of these, with first doses, 4,931,879 have been applied, and complete schedules, which include not only the two-dose vaccines, but the Janssen single-dose vaccines, are 3,940,543 ”, he revealed.

And, in the case of reinforcements, what is the figure?

In reinforcements to people older than 70 years or with comorbidities, 76,894 vaccines have been applied.

What then is the grand total?

The total of doses applied is 8,972,402, which means that we have coverage, in the case of first doses, above 82 percent; and in the case of second doses or complete scheme, above 65 percent.

Does Bogotá have enough vaccines?

Yes. We have sufficient doses from all laboratories, and the 35 large vaccination points operate from Sunday to Sunday, from 8 am to 5 pm.

Will we have Christmas with a vaccinated city?

That’s the purpose. One of the District’s objectives is that by November 30, 90 percent of the first doses applied to the population can be met.

Who gets vaccinated more, men or women?

With at least the first dose, 55 percent are women and 45 percent are men.

How many street dwellers have been vaccinated?

3,914 doses have been applied to street dwellers.

How many migrants have been vaccinated?

10,770 doses have been applied.

How is the vaccination of 3-year-olds going?

Bogotá has more than 800,000 girls and boys between the ages of 3 and 11; To date we have managed to vaccinate 29,000 of them and we are in the process of expanding vaccination points and strategies to achieve greater and better coverage.

How is vaccination progressing in schools, colleges and universities?

In the case of universities, 37,866 doses have been applied, and in schools, both public and private, 25,811 have been applied in the 12 to 17-year-old population. To what has already been done, and with the help of Edna Bonilla and the Education team, we will begin vaccination in schools tomorrow, Monday, November 8, and we have almost 60 educational institutions scheduled for vaccination days from this November 8.

In how many schools will vaccines be applied from tomorrow?

Private: 28. Public: 29.

Are 13,207 students expected to be vaccinated tomorrow alone?

Day by day there will be more schools to achieve our goal of ‘Vaccinate them in November so that they are protected in December’.

Will students be required to have a vaccination card to attend class?

No, it is not a question of requiring a card from students, but of having optimal levels of vaccination. The lack of a license does not prevent educational processes.

Will colleges and universities return to normal next year?

As of January 1, 2022, all activities return to full presence; If it is required to return to the economy to be 100 percent, it is necessary that the boys and girls return to their educational activities in person, the parents return to the presence in their places of work; in the case of universities, next year all of them should resume their face-to-face activity.

How is the age chart of vaccinated people?

People over the age of 50 have vaccination levels of 80 percent; those over 70 are above 85 percent. With the population between the ages of 30 and 50, vaccination coverage is around 60 percent. Between 18 and 30 years of age, coverage fluctuates between 15 and 25 percent, and that is why this economically active population, which is probably the one that most attends cultural, social or sports establishments, is We are making a special invitation for you to come en masse during the remaining week before November 16 to start or finish your vaccination process.

What sanctions will be applied in Bogotá to restaurants, bars, discos, cinemas, theaters, stadiums, museums and fairs that allow the entry of unvaccinated people?

From temporary closure of the establishment to financial penalties.
How will the authenticity of the vaccination document be verified?
We presume the good will of the people and the veracity of the information. However, the Ministry of Health and the Mayor’s Office reserve the right to carry out investigations of the case by sampling against the authenticity of the vaccination cards that are presented in the different establishments.

What is exposed who falsifies the vaccination card or certificate?

Whoever falsifies the vaccination card incurs the crime of material falsification in a public document, which has a prison sentence of 48 to 108 months, according to article 287 of the Penal Code, and whoever uses it commits the crime of use of false document, which has a prison sentence of 4 to 12 years, according to article 291 of the same code, without prejudice to the sanctions that may be applied for the violation of sanitary measures.

What to do with people who cannot be vaccinated medically?

According to the technical annexes of each biological that is being applied in the country, the vaccines against covid-19 in their technical sheet do not have contraindications.

How serious has the mental health problem been in Bogotá?

It must be recognized that in the case of mental health in the capital, the pandemic has exacerbated serious situations such as problems of anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. That is why we established pre-hospital or home care in mental health. In addition, we have different emergency lines for this type of problem and others associated with violence and the use of psychoactive substances. One of the elements that have generated such a level of anguish, of unease in society, is the enormous pain that we suffer in the pandemic. The difficulty to watch and mourn our dead.

Is it true that pregnant women cannot be vaccinated?

No it’s not true. In fact, there is a very high indication to be vaccinated against covid-19 to prevent the disease in women and allow them, through the umbilical cord, to transmit those defenses to the baby that is going to be born. So the vaccine is absolutely indicated after the third month of pregnancy and up to 40 days postpartum.

The numbers of infections and deaths from covid-19 in the city are very low. But does the risk of the fourth peak of infections, which was feared for October, still exist?

The risk is real, given that the transmission of Sars-CoV-2 worldwide is still active, even internationally there is no country that can claim that it has eliminated covid-19. That is why we must maintain zero tolerance to the disease, move towards a management plan as a country that allows the full reopening of economic and people’s own activities. However, if a peak occurs, it is expected that, with the advance in the population’s vaccination, complications and deaths will be less, which would show a slight impact for the city. Permanent monitoring of the pandemic will be a key tool to assess the behavior of the situation.

Until when will the use of a mask continue to be mandatory in Bogotá?

For now, yes; The use of face masks will continue as long as there are no more precise definitions of pharmacological treatments and it can be established at a global level that we enter a phase of disease control.

Is it true that some countries in Europe do not accept the Sinovac vaccine?

To date, the European Union and the United States have authorized the entry of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines for travelers, as a result of the positive results of the evaluations of their safety and efficacy carried out by the EMA. , which is the Regulatory Agency of the European Union. Sinovac has not yet been accepted in the European Union or the US Some of the countries are advancing studies to include it.

What occupation do ICUs have today?

Until Friday, the percentage of total ICU occupancy was at 66.8 percent with 1,198 ICU beds occupied out of 1,794 ICU beds reported by the city’s IPS, and the percentage of ICU occupancy due to covid-19 was It was 45.5 percent, with 268 ICU-covid beds occupied out of 589 ICU beds reported by the IPS of the city, presenting a downward trend in the last week.

How many tests are done per day and how many are positive?

Bogotá did more than 22,000 PCR tests per day at the time it was required; of course, the demand for this type of sample is less and less. The level of positivity is close to 2 percent, which means that out of every 100 tests only 2 are positive and 98 are negative, which highlights the epidemiological moment of tranquility that we are living.

How is the plan for Bogotá to develop vaccines?

The plan is going well. We had to redesign our strategy a bit because the pharmaceutical companies that are already selling vaccines have no interest or incentive to transfer technology to us that allows us to manufacture vaccines locally. They already have a secure market that they don’t want to share with anyone. That is why we have approached pharmaceutical companies that are developing their vaccines for covid-19 and that also have experience in the development of other vaccines. They are much more open and willing to form an alliance with the district and local private companies, in which a technology transfer takes place that allows us to manufacture locally not only the covid-19 vaccine, but also others that are part of the Plan Expanded Immunization.

How many people have died and how many have been infected in Bogotá during the entire pandemic?

With cut to November 3 and with a lot of pain, the city of Bogotá has to report 27,674 people who died due to the basic cause of the covid. 27,674 families have been plunged into pain by this terrible epidemic. Compared to the number of positives, the data is 1,455,737 people.

When will full presence return to Bogotá?

Our purpose is that as of January 1, 2022, the city of Bogotá will be at 100 percent face-to-face activity thanks to the care process that we have had together and the progress in our vaccination program.

What is the learning that the pandemic left to Bogotá?

We have passed the toughest health, economic and social test that we can remember in our lives. The virus put us to the test and we managed to pass it at an unimaginable human cost, but also with a show of solidarity, creativity and resilience that we have to be proud of. It is not a question of denying the enormous crisis that we had and from which we have not yet fully emerged, but there are reasons for optimism, there are reasons for hope.

YAMID AMAT*
SPECIAL FOR THE WEATHER

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