At least 26 children between zero and 4 years old have died in Espírito Santo due to the new coronavirus. This age group is the only one that has not yet been covered by the National Vaccination Plan (PNI), but in Espírito Santo there is a group of 500 children aged 3 and 4 who have taken the Coronavac vaccine .
These little ones are part of an experimental project, Curumim, coordinated by pediatric pulmonologist and researcher at Hospital das Clínicas, Valéria Valim. The project studies the efficacy, safety and production of antibodies (defense proteins) and defense cells in children and adolescents after the administration of two doses of the Coronavac vaccine and compares these indicators with those produced by the Pfizer vaccine.
“The importance is to provide data, both on the safety and the effectiveness of these vaccines, in a population”, added Carolina Gadelha, who is also one of the researchers.
“I was a little apprehensive, I admit, but my thought in taking my son to be part of research is that vaccines save life. I was vaccinated, my eldest son, 16, my parents, my brothers, my wife, only he was missing. And I am very happy because, even before the end of the research, I saw that he had no reaction, ”said lawyer Rodrigo Miranda, the father of José Pedro, who took the two doses before d to be 4 years old.
Between April and May, the Ministry of Health recorded that 50% of hospitalizations were for unvaccinated children aged 0 to 4 years. During the same period, the analysis of hospitalizations of the population aged 12 to 17 shows that no teenager vaccinated with both doses was hospitalized.
Concerned about the health of children under 3 years old, Projeto Curumim has informed that it will submit a request for authorization of the ethics committee for age groups under 3 years. For the pulmonologist, the slice of greatest risk of severe illness from COVID, hospitalization and death, in children and adolescents, is under 4 years of age, so the extension of vaccination for this public is extremely necessary .
The Secretary of State for Health, Nésio Fernandes, also President of the The National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass), has formalized with Anvisa the recognition of the urgency of the immediate approval of vaccines against Covid-19 for pediatric ages not yet incorporated. “Vaccinating children is a public health emergency”, stressed the boss of Sesa.
The research called Projeto Curumim began on January 14 with 1,280 children and adolescents, aged 3 to 17, residents of Greater Vitória, who had not yet received any doses of the covid-19 vaccine. Researchers from the Cassiano Antônio Moraes University Hospital (Hucam-Ufes) are taking part, with the support of Fiocruz/Instituto René Rachou, the Butantan Institute and the State Health Department (Sesa).
According to the doctor in charge of the study, Valéria Valim, it is necessary “so that Coronavac can be included as a vaccine option for children in the National Immunization Program (PNI) of the Ministry of Health of Brazil”.
The investigation of the Coronavac Immunizer is justified by the fact that it is an inactivated vaccine, i.e. the whole virus is killed and then applied as a vaccine. “This technology has been well known and used for many years and has the advantage of inducing a wide range of responses, in addition to being safer, i.e. producing fewer side effects. . For the same reason, it is also less efficient. However, children over 3 years old have a very active immune system and respond better to vaccines than adults. There is therefore a scientific basis for considering that an inactivated vaccine can be sufficiently effective and with fewer side effects in children, ”reinforced Carolina Strauss, pediatric pulmonologist and research participant.
It is expected that in the coming days, with the possession of the first results of the study, Conass will discuss the matter again with the Ministry of Health.