In this interview with journalist Cinthya Leite, the Secretary of Health of Pernambuco, André Longo, takes stock of the pandemic in the state and reinforces that, even with the drop in indicators, the situation is still not comfortable. “Vaccination changes reality, but unequal access to vaccinations still makes us uncertain about possible new variants,” says Longo.
JC — How do you assess the fight against the pandemic, in Pernambuco and Brazil, over these 2 years?
ANDRE LONGO — In Brazil, we must regret the absence of national coordination in the management of the pandemic, combined with a negationist discourse at the federal level, which has generated an insufficient message for the population. It is necessary to underline the articulation of the States of the North-East, which united in the fight against the pandemic to resist Holocaust denial, with the creation, in particular, of a Committee
Scientist to fight coronavirus. Specifically here in Pernambuco, in this long two-year journey, as determined by Governor Paulo Câmara, we have been guided by science, acting in complete transparency to bring the best information to the population and always in coordination with the secretariats
Health departments, through Cosems-PE (Council of Municipal Health Departments of Pernambuco). Thus, we seek to respond to the paroxysm of this greatest health crisis for 100 years. In terms of care, we have put into practice a great plan for the mobilization of beds, supplies and human resources and, with this, we have set up the largest hospital network for the management of cases of acute respiratory syndrome severe in the Northern, Northeastern and Midwestern states. . In vaccination, which is
fundamental piece to be able to reverse the course of the pandemic and save lives, we are also doing intense work. We have set up an agile logistical operation for the distribution of doses so that all municipalities can plan and move forward with their actions.
JC — With the decline in indicators at this stage, do you think we are close to the end of the pandemic?
ANDRE LONGO — We have observed, week after week, an improvement in the indicators of Covid-19, with a drop in positivity, the number of hospitalized patients, the registration of new cases and deaths. But to continue to reap positive results, the only way forward is to go even further in vaccination. We also cannot get into the mood of the end of the pandemic. Vaccination changes reality, but the unequal access to vaccines, worldwide, still makes us uncertain about the emergence of new variants.
JC — Where are the pockets of unvaccinated people in Pernambuco today and what strategies have been adopted to solve this challenge?
ANDRE LONGO — To reach these pockets and support the municipalities most in difficulty, accelerate
vaccination in the state, we have created, in partnership with PAHO/WHO, the Vacina Mais Pernambuco program. And, in the last three months, we have done an excellent job of vaccinating, with an active search, house by house, in 15 municipalities in the state – most of them located in Mata Sul. In this work, we have also unfortunately detected that there is an under-registration of the vaccines applied against covid-19 in the population. This means that the doses are applied, but they are not correctly filled in and/or recorded in the systems. It is therefore important that municipal health teams
organize and adopt measures to increase data recording in official information systems. Accuracy of information is crucial for planning municipal and state needs.
JC — Coverage for the third dose is still low in the state. With the pandemic calmer now, people can relax and not come back to take this reminder. how the state has
sensitized this public?
ANDRE LONGO — In two years of a pandemic, it is very clear that we cannot let our guard down. The only way to overcome this moment is to advance even further in immunization, whether by protecting children aged 5 to 11, or by expanding third-dose coverage in adults who took the second dose a while ago. over four months old. Vaccines, as I always say, are safe and are our main ally in protecting life and beating the virus. Therefore, the commitment of each of us in the vaccination process is essential.