The emotion of the vaccine and the reality of it all

EDITORIAL COMMENT

The editorial by the managing director Paride Pelli

 The emotion of the vaccine and the reality of it all

The emotion of the vaccine and the reality of it all

Let us not be infected by the understandable enthusiasm for the arrival of the vaccine and the official start of a campaign that only a few months ago seemed pure utopia. Let me be clear: yesterday was a very important day. The administration of the first doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine to some Ticino residents undoubtedly marks a moment - not only symbolic - of true rebirth for our canton, severely affected by the pandemic, and for the entire country.

For a few hours we can say that we too have finally started the immunization process that will lead us towards a new normal. But the start of the administration is only a stage, albeit a significant one, of a path that will be long, uphill and painful. Anxiety and suffering, it should be remembered, will not go away as if by magic, with a simple injection: the cases of contagion will continue, the hospitalizations as well and consequently the deaths. The latter are still today, after ten months of daily health reports, a punch in the stomach to which we cannot, do not want and must not get used to.

Let’s grit our teeth, therefore, let’s not give up, and look at yesterday’s date as a halfway point in a regatta where the finish line is just beginning to loom on the horizon, almost invisible. This is the reason why the vaccination campaign in elderly homes and in favor of the over-85 was launched without too many claims, with a deliberately low profile. The prudence and skepticism of some towards the vaccine have nothing to do with it: the Pfizer / BioNTech preparation was approved with the ordinary procedure by Swissmedic last December 19th and patient safety was a fundamental premise. Rather, it has to do with - in addition to the initial limited amount of serum available - the desire not to let the vaccine enthusiasts and those who do not consider it the optimal solution against COVID-19 let their guard down. Here, precisely this will be one of the most delicate fronts of the coming months: it goes without saying that there may not be, in a liberal and democratic state, the obligation to undergo these injections, however it is good to remember that vaccines, as unanimously recognized by the international scientific community, they are one of the safest and most effective public health tools of all time because they bring benefits, indirectly, to the whole community. Suffice it to remember that, if the quota of 70% of vaccinated people were to be reached, herd immunity would ensure a return to an almost normal life. The goal we all aim for, first and foremost the Federal Council.

There is also much discussion, in this period, on the decision to give priority to the most vulnerable group, that of the elderly. Well, in recent days, some American professors and bioethicists received an invitation - almost a provocation - to overturn priorities. Children would be more contagious and immunizing them would protect fragile people better. Where to start, then? The question reminds us of the drama that reigned in the intensive care units last spring, when there was no possibility of offering adequate care to everyone: «Better to save more lives or more years of life?». From our point of view, the decision to start vaccinations from the elderly is not only logical and wise: it is an act due to a category that has paid the highest price since the advent of the sneaky scourge. And the same goes for the medical and nursing staff, who have responded flawlessly over the past months and continue to do so today, with extraordinary professionalism and humanity. This, of course, with regard to the early stage: then the effectiveness of the decision will have to be assessed and the priorities revised if necessary, with an eye to the results achieved by those countries that have decided to follow a different path from ours, for example that of vaccinating (for example) before the fifties, people who are very exposed because they are constantly on the move for professional reasons. A choice that somehow favors those who are the real «engines» of an economy that has absolute necessity, at all latitudes,

The Ticino campaign has therefore officially started: now it will be necessary to understand whether it will continue according to the pre-established program, without those delays and bureaucratic delays that everyone is facing at an international level, with controversies that put the various governments under considerable pressure. In conclusion, it is essential to remember that unfortunately the vaccine will not make the difference in the immediate future: we will all still make it together, adhering to that sense of responsibility in behavior that remains essential and decisive to review the light as soon as possible, to approach the future with a shy smile. No, we absolutely cannot forget our common sense: because that’s what has really made the difference so far.

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