La campaña de vacunación contra el covid-19 en Estados Unidos entró el jueves en una nueva fase con la participación de miles de farmacias, pero la ola de optimismo provocada por la caída de los contagios podría ponerse pronto a prueba con la llegada de peligrosas variantes del virus.

El gobierno del presidente Joe Biden ordenó el envío de un millón de dosis a unas 6.500 droguerías y farmacias de supermercados de todo el país, y varias cadenas anunciaron que empezarían a administrar las primeras inyecciones el viernes.

La campaña de vacunación en Estados Unidos, el país más enlutado por la pandemia, tuvo un comienzo inestable en diciembre, pero desde entonces ha mejorado: 44,8 millones de vacunas han sido administradas, y al menos 33,7 millones de personas han recibido una o más dosis, aproximadamente el 10% de la población.

El programa de farmacias podría ampliarse a 40.000 establecimientos, mientras que el gobierno federal aumentó la producción de vacunas, abrió centros de vacunación masiva en estadios y comenzó un programa para llegar a comunidades vulnerables.

Para abril, «prácticamente todo el mundo y cualquier persona de cualquier categoría podría empezar a vacunarse», estimó Anthony Fauci, principal asesor del presidente sobre la pandemia, a la cadena NBC.

La gran mayoría de las personas estaría vacunada a «mediados y finales del verano»boreal, añadió.

Tras alcanzar un pico el 8 de enero, la ola de contagios en Estados Unidos ha experimentado un fuerte descenso: una media de poco más de 100.000 casos diarios frente a más de 300.000.

Sin embargo, se espera que el país más afectado del mundo por la pandemia -con más de 27, 29 millones de contagios- alcance el medio millón de muertes a finales de este mes.

Entre una confusión generalizada sobre dónde y cuándo vacunarse, también han surgido marcadas disparidades raciales y económicas.

En la capital, Washington, las vacunas se han asignado de forma desproporcionada a los residentes de los barrios blancos y acomodados, donde la gente se registró más rápidamente por teléfono o por internet.

El rechazo a las vacunas también es significativamente mayor entre personas negras y latinas, que tienen el doble de probabilidades de morir de covid-19 debido al racismo estructural en el sistema médico.

Auge de temores 

Sumando el número de personas ya vacunadas y las que ya se infectaron, se cree que alrededor del 40% de la población podría tener cierta inmunidad, lo que también está contribuyendo a la desaceleración de los nuevos casos.

Pero los expertos advierten que no es momento de confiarse.

La variante B.1.1.7, altamente transmisible y que se identificó por primera vez en Gran Bretaña, se está extendiendo rápidamente en Estados Unidos y se convertirá en la cepa dominante en marzo, causando un potencial aumento de contagios, según múltiples estudios.

Además, las variantes identificadas por primera vez en Sudáfrica y Brasil han demostrado que las vacunas actuales son menos potentes y causan reinfecciones en personas que previamente se contagiaron con la cepa clásica de covid.

Los expertos han advertido que, cuanto más tiempo se deje circular al virus, mejor se adaptará.

70 comentarios en «Comienza vacunación contra covid-19 en farmacias de EEUU mientras los casos disminuyen»
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