For a moment, try to go back in time. Not too far away: January 2020. Until then, had you participated in conversations, whether in your social or professional circle, about the brand of immunizing agent you intended to take against any disease? The answer is probably “no” except for those who work in the healthcare field.
Brands in this category of products, once anonymous, however, have invaded our dialogues, whether face-to-face or digital, given the relevance of the impact of the pandemic on our lives. In a chance encounter, the comment “I’ve had the first dose!” is followed by a quick question: “Which vaccine?”.
In affinity groups, it became common to find posts like — “What vaccine are they giving? Pfizer? Astra? CoronaVac?”. And for questions like these, a flurry of comments. Heated debates in defense of one brand or another, as well as against the idea of having a predilection at a time when what matters is the greatest possible number of vaccinated people. “I want to get the vaccine and people are choosing”. On the other hand, the simple question of someone who needs to take their second dose — “Does anyone know where I take Pfizer today?” – can turn into a long debate on class struggle.
When would we imagine, in this near past, that we would see so many people, on their social networks, posting their passage through the post of SUS and your card with the details of your vaccination? Or even celebrities being “sealed” for refusing to take one or another vaccine?
But after all, is there really a predilection? I did a digital poll for this article and apparently there is. Of the more than 120 respondents, 73% said they had a preferred brand. And, of these, 66% prefer the American to do, justified choice for being “the most effective”. The second named vaccine, Johnson & Johnson (or Janssen), is still within the scope of desires, as it has never arrived in Brazil. With 21% of the preference, it brings a very practical justification: “single dose”. the british AstraZeneca, which had 8% of the preference, on the one hand, inspires “safety in its efficacy, as it is a traditional method”, and on the other hand, scares because of the “reactions”, side effects. the Chinese CoronaVac it had only 1% of the preference, being much criticized for an alleged lack of effectiveness.
Far from being a scientific research, we are dealing here only with perceptions, what people think about the vaccines that are there, in a limited, free reading, without demographic representation, but with the merit of giving insights for a broader study.
Symbolically, Pfizer presents itself as the strongest and most desired brand of protection for Covid-19. These are attributes that companies, throughout their history, strive to achieve. In our new normal, this process was favored, however, by the tragic context of the pandemic, in which the scientific narrative and product category entered the media landscape and everyone’s daily life, creating consumption rituals and objects of desire around something that it should be an absolutely pragmatic process. All opinions tend to be exacerbated and passionate, bypassing the industry, which was a passenger in this process.
It’s okay to prefer a brand, but you can’t postpone vaccination due to the unavailability of your preferred location. A few days can represent the contamination of many. Vaccination is a collective effort. Those who choose delay everything and are individually contributing to family, social and economic tragedies.
We cannot treat the vaccine as a luxury bag, a reason for ostentation for both. We must avoid promoting one vaccine over another. All available vaccines are approved by Anvisa and for WHO and, in this way, good and necessary to contain one of the greatest crises ever experienced by humanity. The teams involved in these approvals are technically qualified to carry out such assessments. We do not. Better to trust scientists than social media.
+ Learn about the effectiveness of each vaccine against Covid-19