José Joaquín Puello proposes “house to house” vaccinations
Dr. José Joaquín Puello has addressed in detail the situation regarding the increase in Covid-19 infections in the last fifteen days and has considered, for the moment, “unviable” to return to confinement.
But even so, the meritorious Dominican cardiologist recommended that the health authorities take extreme distancing measures and maintain the proper care protocol.
“If we are not going to close the country, the restrictions must be complied with, without exception, especially the use of the mask and ask for the vaccination card,” he said.
“The vaccine is a social responsibility of the individual,” says Puello, who took the opportunity to appeal for attention to citizens who resist vaccination.
He also urged the unvaccinated population to go to the nearest center and get the corresponding dose.
He urged the Ministry of Public Health to implement vaccination “house by house” to cover the corners of the population that have not had access, for some reason, to the vaccine.
He added that disseminating the message must be more direct and insistent since, as he affirms, if the media are massively bombarded with the message “Vaccinate,” people will always keep it in mind and assume it as a commitment or as a pending task.
In another order, he advised the vaccinated not to lower their guard or be seduced by “the false sense of security that the vaccine gives.”
Even though a large part of the population has been vaccinated, infections continue, and hospitals continue to reach the top of their capacity, trying to provide care to each person. In addition, according to the neurosurgeon, “to the extent that the population has been vaccinated, the virus has been mutating.”
On the latter, Puello clarified that the vaccine does not exempt from contracting the virus but decreases its effects and creates immunity in people. However, immunity decreases after a specific time, making applying a third and even a fourth dose necessary.
The opening of schools is one of the issues to which the re-outbreak is attributed, since according to the neurosurgeon, “at the beginning of the pandemic it was not known for sure if children were carriers or transmitters.” Still, it has been shown that children can spread the virus even if they do not present symptoms. Proof of this is the cases of schools that have had to close their doors again due to the number of teaching staff and students who have contracted the disease.
For that reason, it favors vaccination in children between 5 and 12 years old and envisions that a fourth dose will be needed in the future.
Reports show that the provinces with the highest rate of spread of the virus are Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal, La Romana, Santiago, Espaillat and Puerto Plata. All of them have a high population density.
The doctor said an interesting factor in evaluating is these areas’ socioeconomic and educational level: “the lowest strata are the most infected.”
According to the doctor, the great epidemiologists maintain that the virus will remain for at least a year and a half more, so he assures “we must learn to live with it.”
The statements of Dr. José Joaquín Puello were offered last Tuesday during the Breakfast of Listín, shared with its director, Miguel Franjul.
Influenza, the possible new threat
Influenza does not have the same incidence in tropical countries such as the Dominican Republic as in cold countries. But, “it is necessary that if you have the opportunity to get vaccinated against it, you get vaccinated,” Puello warned.
With the circulation of the Delta variant in the country and the growing wave of coronavirus infections, the doctor described it as “extremely dangerous that influenza and covid-19 come together in the same patient.” Therefore, he reiterated the importance of placing the third dose of reinforcement of the vaccine. “Vaccines are effective and safe, people shouldn’t be afraid to get them,” he said.