Europe vigilant on coronavirus situation

AP/MOSA’AB ELSHAMY - Sanitarios en una de las unidades de cuidados intensivos (UCI) COVID-19 del hospital Moulay Abdellah en Sale, Marruecos
photo_camera AP/MOSA’AB ELSHAMY - Sanitarios en una de las unidades de cuidados intensivos (UCI) COVID-19 del hospital Moulay Abdellah en Sale, Marruecos

There is no longer a pandemic, but the coronavirus continues to cause major infections. In Spain and the UK, health authorities have brought forward their anti-COVID vaccination campaign from October to September in response to the wave of cases; and in other countries, they are making hasty decisions because of the growing infections and re-infections from the virus. 

As of 5 September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 770,437,327 cases of coronavirus infections, with a total of 6,956,900 deaths. 

Of the coronavirus vaccines, the health agency reports that a total of 13,500,135,157 doses have been administered. There is no homogeneous immunisation schedule worldwide because some countries have administered four doses, others three, and some only two or even a single vaccination schedule, as is the case in Africa. 

According to information provided by the WHO, the region of the world with the highest number of COVID-19 infections is Europe with 275,987,083 cases despite the fact that it is the continent that has been vaccinated the most; in contrast: in Africa, 9,547,278 people have been infected and, paradoxically, it is the continent with the least number of COVID vaccines administered. 

By country, the most recent figures show the United States with the highest number of infections: 103,436,829 people; followed by China, which, despite its large population, has managed to contain its spread and the various outbreaks have infected 99,306,563 people. 

This is also the case in India, which is already the most populous country in the world, yet only 44,997,326 people have been infected by the coronavirus. 

Of the European countries, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have the largest number of people who have already contracted the virus: 38,997,490 people, 38,437,756 people and 25,955,703 people, respectively. 

In terms of deaths, the American continent recorded the highest number of deaths from coronavirus in September with 2,958,886 people, followed by Europe with 2,247,711 people and, once again, Africa, which is the continent with the fewest deaths from coronavirus with 175,425 people.  By country, the United States is the most affected worldwide with 1,127,152 deaths from coronavirus, followed by Brazil with 704,659 cases.  

Looking ahead to autumn and after an explosive summer with a massive mobility of visitors, since the end of June in several countries an increase in the speed of circulation of new infections has been reported, as well as in the number of reinfections, because SARS-CoV-2 has already proven its ability to reinfect people who have been infected several times and who have even been vaccinated. The vials still make it possible to attenuate the effect of the virus on the human body and reduce its lethality. 

It has also shown that it is not a seasonal virus as the WHO itself predicted last year, the waves continue to appear with peaks and troughs. Spain again has 130 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants. 

In several countries, new hospital admissions and the number of beds occupied by coronavirus patients are also on the rise, although doctors emphasise that this is only marginal. 

On the subject 

Now, although there are modernised versions of the COVID vaccines, none have succeeded in cutting off the ability of transmission from one person to another person. They do not fully immunise. 

In Europe, the Medicines Regulatory Agency explains that an updated version of the vaccine that targets two variants of the coronavirus has been approved for use as a booster dose for older adults. 

Is there a combined influenza and coronavirus vaccine?  Not to date. But countries like Spain are calling on their population to get vaccinated and receive a dose of COVID-19 and a dose of influenza at the same time. A jab in each arm. 

The scientific community is still working on the creation of a joint vaccine of this type (one that protects against coronavirus; influenza and respiratory syncytial virus) but as it does not exist, people will receive the two vials at the same time in different arms.  For the time being, revaccination is being called for.