Aplicarse la vacuna del coronavirus no es una carta blanca para ignorar las medidas de salud como el distanciamiento físico y el lavado de manos. Dos expertas de la Organización Mundial de la Salud responden a preguntas comunes sobre la vacunación y refutan varios mitos que rodean a las inmunizaciones que son solo una de las herramientas clave que deben utilizarse conjuntamente para acabar con la pandemia.

Las vacunas salvan millones de vidas cada año y funcionan entrenando y preparando las defensas naturales del cuerpo, el sistema inmunológico, para reconocer y combatir los virus y bacterias a los que atacan. Si el cuerpo se expone posteriormente a esos gérmenes que causan enfermedades, entonces está inmediatamente listo para destruirlos y prevenir enfermedades. En medio de la pandemia actual, las vacunas son vitales no solo para salvar vidas, sino también para prevenir los efectos a largo plazo del COVID-19, que apenas los científicos comienzan a comprender. Actualmente el número de vacunados contra la enfermedad ya supera el número de casos nuevos, estas son buenas noticias, pero la proporción de personas protegidas por ahora alcanza aproximadamente solo el 11.3% de la población de los países de Europa al 25 de marzo, donde ya se ha comenzado un programa de inmunización, por ejemplo.

Mientras avanzan las campañas de vacunación para los trabajadores de salud y los grupos de alto riesgo alrededor del mundo, las medidas de salud como utilizar mascarilla, mantener el distanciamiento físico, evitar multitudes y lavarse las manos continúan siendo la herramienta más fuerte para disminuir los contagios y a la vez evitar que aparezcan nuevas mutaciones, posiblemente más peligrosas, del virus SARS-CoV-2. Pero ¿y qué pasa con las personas que ya han sido vacunadas?, ¿ya pueden volver a su vida “normal”?. Esto es lo que dicen dos expertas de la Organización Mundial de la Salud.

¿Cuándo se activa la inmunidad y cuánto tiempo protegerá al vacunado y a los demás?

Las vacunas aprobadas actualmente contra el COVID-19 son la mayoría de dos dosis. Después de la primera dosis, existe una buena respuesta inmune que se activa aproximadamente dos semanas después de ser aplicada. Sin embargo, es realmente la segunda dosis la que luego aumenta esa respuesta inmune y la inmunidad ya adquirida se vuelve aún más fuerte después de su aplicación dentro de un período de tiempo más corto. “Todavía no sabemos cuánto tiempo dura la inmunidad de las vacunas que tenemos a mano en este momento. Estamos siguiendo a las personas que han recibido vacunas para averiguar si su respuesta inmunitaria es duradera y para saber el tiempo durante el cual están protegidas contra la enfermedad. Así que realmente tendremos que esperar a que pase el tiempo para ver cuánto dura la efectividad de estas vacunas”, explica la doctora Katherine O’Brien, experta en vacunas de la OMS.

Después de ser vacunado, ¿puedo contraer COVID-19 y también puedo infectar a otros?

Los ensayos clínicos demostraron que las vacunas protegen a las personas contra el desarrollo de la enfermedad de COVID-19, que puede ser leve, moderada o grave. Lo que aún no se sabe de los ensayos clínicos es si las vacunas también protegen a las personas de simplemente infectarse con el virus SARS-CoV-2 y si protegen o no contra la transmisión a otra persona. “Entonces, esta es una parte realmente importante de nuestra comprensión sobre lo que hacen estas vacunas. ¿Solo protegen contra enfermedades o también protegen contra la infección y la transmisión a otra persona, incluso si no tiene ningún síntoma?”, explica O’Brien.

Y, ¿entonces para qué vacunas si tenemos que seguir tomando precauciones? ¿O será solo un tiempo?

Ahora mismo, el mundo se encuentra en una situación en la que todavía hay una transmisión muy amplia en muchos países, es decir, aún está fuera de control, explica la experta Katherine O’Brien. “Por lo tanto, el tiempo que necesitemos para continuar con estas precauciones dependerá realmente de lo que las comunidades y los países puedan hacer para realmente aplastar este virus, para acabar con la transmisión. Y de esa manera, las vacunas pueden hacer un mejor trabajo para prevenir la enfermedad”, agrega. O´Brien señala que tampoco existen pruebas todavía para usar la vacuna en algunos grupos de edad, como por ejemplo los niños. “Así que, por el momento, esos grupos de edad seguirán estando en riesgo de contraer enfermedades e infecciones y podrán transmitirlo a otras personas”.

Otra razón para cuidarse es que las vacunas escasean, por lo que todavía no hay suficientes en la comunidad para proteger a todos. “¿Por cuánto tiempo debemos continuar esas intervenciones? El tiempo lo dirá. Una vez que tengamos una amplia cobertura de vacunación en la comunidad, cuando sepamos más sobre lo que realmente puede hacer la vacuna para prevenir la infección, y podamos comenzar lentamente a quitar el pie del pedal de estas otras intervenciones y asegurarnos de que la transmisión, nuevamente, no ocurra”, concluye O’Brien. Fuente: Naciones Unidas.

183 comentarios en «Vacuna COVID-19: ¿Por qué hay que seguir usando mascarilla después de recibirla?»
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