On Monday, a delegation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) arrived in Uruguay to begin work on a collaborative study on the effectiveness of vaccines and the impact of different variants of the coronavirus that have been detected in our country, Chile and Argentina.
The launch event was attended by the Minister of Public Health, Daniel Salinas, Undersecretary Jose Luis Satdjian, the Chargé d’Affairs at the US Embassy, Jennifer Savage, and the Executive Director of the Pasteur Institute, Carlos Bhatiaani. , and two CDC representatives: Regional Office Director Juliette Morgan and Senior Technical Adviser Roberto Esteves.
In a video posted by the US embassy, Minister Salinas said the study includes the participation of “a very important number of volunteers, who will be studied with PCR studies periodically and over time for a year, both before vaccination and also after vaccination, in order to measure The performance and efficacy of different vaccine platforms, in this case Sinovac and Pfizer.”
According to Salinas, “For the Ministry of Public Health, this represents a historic milestone in the cooperative relations between the two countries.”
Meanwhile, Batyani said the study “will be carried out very seriously and will give us answers to many questions that we may not even be able to ask ourselves today. In addition, it will leave a developed infrastructure in Uruguay to prepare us for new changes that this or epidemics may have.” In the future “.
The CDC’s regional director stated that the United States is interested “specifically in the variables that are emerging now, and in having already proven cooperation so that we can follow and monitor the situation as the virus and the epidemic in general is evolving.”
He added that a protocol is being developed to study the effectiveness of vaccines and monitor new variants.
In the meantime, Esteves stressed that although the project will start in Uruguay, there will be “institutional cooperation between different countries to build a common platform in South America to research the coronavirus and the vaccines that are being used and their efficacy, in the short and medium term.”
Variable delta in Uruguay
Bhatiaani said it is “highly likely” that the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was initially detected in India, will reach Uruguay, after cases were recorded in Argentina and Brazil.
At a press conference Friday, Telemundo At the US Embassy in Uruguay, Battiani stated that after his discovery in the two neighboring countries, “it is very likely that he will enter Uruguay at some point.”
However, “the question is whether India will replace P1 or not,” and this “will depend on multiple things,” such as “characteristics of the variable” or “number of introductions,” i.e., the amount of income from cases to the country.
Bhatiaani highlighted that in the United Kingdom, where more than 60% of the population has been vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, the “delta variant, which had many incomes due to the relationship between India and Great Britain, was very fast spreading, replacing the British variant.” , which was the alternative that we were most concerned about at the time.”
Virologist Gonzalo Moratorio said Monday that the Epidemiological Surveillance Innovation Center of the University of the Republic, the Pasteur Institute and the National Agricultural Research Institute are working to detect delta variant entry as quickly as possible, although he confirmed that it has. Arrival “will find us much better than when the P1 variant was introduced, because of the immunization coverage problem we will have.”
Although he cautioned that this variant is “twice more transmissible than P1” and has “a greater ability to evade the immune response,” it is expected that it “will not lead to more deaths and hospitalizations,” because the vaccines applied in the country are. He said it is still effective.