MEDSI doctors told whether it is worth getting vaccinated
Since vaccines against coronavirus appeared in our country and the vaccination campaign began, people have been worried about questions: will the vaccine protect against the virus, how does the vaccine work, why was it released to the market so quickly, were there enough clinical studies conducted, does the drug affect fertility?
On July 28, MEDSI experts answered these and other questions during the webinar "Vaccination: Pros and Cons" organized by the Sistema Charitable Foundation, MEDSI Group and Ozon. The event was held as part of an educational program implemented by Sistema Charitable Foundation and MEDSI Group in companies that are part of Sistema JSFC. The first webinar was held at the beginning of July at the foundation's site, more than 2,500 people took part in it. In the future, a series of similar webinars is planned for other AFK assets.
The webinar at the Ozon office was attended by: Ksenia Shekhovtsova, Deputy Medical Director of the Group of Companies MEDSI, and Fyodor Andronnik, Deputy Chief Physician for Clinical Expertise, Clinical Diagnostic Center MEDSI on Solyanka. The moderator of the event, President of the Sistema Charitable Foundation Oksana Kosachenko, noted the importance of the issues discussed in terms of the formation of a responsible attitude of each person to their own health and the health of others.
Experts said that the world was divided into two camps. There are those who want to protect themselves from the coronavirus and its severe course, and therefore get vaccinated. But there are also people who are afraid to be vaccinated due to various circumstances, both objective, for example, a severe allergic reaction in history, and based on myths and conjectures.
So, for many, the principle of the vaccine's action remains incomprehensible, and therefore there are assumptions that the drug can affect the human genome.
Ksenia Vladimirovna said that any vaccination is the introduction of a drug that creates a specific immune response of the body against the causative agent of a particular infection. This is an artificial immune process that partially mimics the natural course of the disease, but is not a disease.
“When we talk about partial imitation of the natural course, this means that the cells are given the same signal that the virus itself gives, so that they produce antibodies. The flu-like symptoms encountered in this case are associated with the primary reaction of the immune system. At the same time, I want to note that this is not a peculiarity of the vaccine specifically against coronavirus - exactly the same symptoms occur with vaccination against other infections, the doctor added.
Fedor Gennadievich emphasized that the vaccination process is manageable. That is, it is known in advance what reactions a person may have to the administration of the drug, which cells are affected by the vaccine, what to do in case of unwanted side effects. Unlike a virus, which behaves as it pleases, and it is almost impossible to predict its effect on the body.
Experts also spoke about vaccines against coronavirus that exist in the world and in Russia.
The most common Russian vaccine today is Sputnik V. It is based on a safe vector virus that delivers a fragment (protein) of the coronavirus into the cell. Vector technology has also been used in the Ebola vaccine. Vaccine against coronavirus Institute. Chumakov "KoviVac" was developed according to the type of vaccines against influenza and polio, that is, it contains a killed (inactivated) virus.
Another Russian vaccine, EpiVacCoron, is recombinant, that is, it contains specific fragments of the virus that the immune system recognizes. The same principle is used in the already known and proven vaccines against whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, meningococcus, hepatitis B.
All three Russian vaccines are available in the country. However, there is a shortage of EpiVacCorona and KoviVac from time to time. But this is not due to the fact that these drugs are better and because of this the demand for them is higher, but to the fact that the manufacturers of Sputnik V have higher production capacities. Thanks to this, it is possible to ensure an almost uninterrupted supply of the drug both to metropolitan medical organizations and to the regions.
Foreign companies, in addition to Astra Zeneka, which created its vaccine according to the vector principle, have taken a more innovative path. Thus, Pfizer (USA) and Moderna (USA) have released vaccines based on genetic material. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, such drugs were only undergoing clinical trials. Their essence lies in the fact that the “instruction” that starts the process of developing an immune response is carried into the cell by the messenger RNA of the virus.
And only one vaccine in the world - the Chinese "KoviVac" - contains a live attenuated virus, but this technology is mature and proven. Live virus is contained, for example, in vaccines against measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox.
Vaccines from foreign manufacturers are not yet available in our country, although if someone has the opportunity to get vaccinated with them, then you should not be afraid, experts assured. No vaccine affects the human genome, including no effect on fertility.
“There is a myth that vaccines were created literally “on the knee”, and it is not known how they will affect human health. Indeed, the registration of drugs was carried out according to an accelerated procedure, which was dictated by the difficult epidemiological situation. However, all vaccines, including Russian ones, have been rigorously tested, all the necessary clinical studies have been carried out to prove that the drugs are not dangerous to humans. In addition, technologies for creating vaccines have existed for decades, which made it possible to release vaccines against coronavirus so quickly,” — said Ksenia Shekhovtsova.
Why are domestic vaccines not recognized by WHO and other countries if they are safe? This question also worries those who have not yet decided whether to get vaccinated or not.
Fyodor Andronnik said that the point here is not at all in the properties and characteristics of the drugs themselves. There is a certain and rather long procedure for registering medicines on the international market. Over the past 10 years, negotiations have been underway between countries to simplify the procedure for mutual recognition, that is, the recognition of the results of clinical trials produced in the country of manufacture of the drug. “Unfortunately, no specific agreements have been reached so far, and therefore we are forced to exist in the current bureaucratic conditions,”- added the expert.
The effectiveness of vaccines is another topic that is being actively discussed on the Internet. It is important to understand that the purpose of vaccination is to prevent a severe course of the disease, but for the majority of those vaccinated, the risks of infection are also reduced. Interim research results show that the effectiveness of the vaccine (in this case, we are talking about Sputnik V) is 91.6% against coronavirus infection.
In order to achieve the required level of immune response, it is important to administer both components of the drug on time, as well as revaccinate in six months. At the same time, it is better to use one vaccine within one vaccination cycle, but for revaccination, you can already choose another drug. After the illness, it is also recommended to vaccinate after 6 months.
Experts noted that often people ask why such a time period was set, although manufacturers indicate that the drug can last up to 2 years.
“In fact, the current recommendations are temporary. Everyone's body is different, and we don't know how long people's immune response lasts, simply because it's been too short a time since mass vaccination began. We also cannot say how many antibodies according to different test systems are considered sufficient, ” - said Fedor Gennadievich. In turn, revaccination after six months (even if a person still has antibodies) helps boost up the immune system.
In other words, the presence of antibodies does not mean that it is not necessary to be vaccinated. However, contraindications still exist. This is an exacerbation of a chronic disease or an acute infectious or non-infectious disease, a history of a severe allergic reaction to vaccination.
At the end of the webinar, experts answered questions from Ozon employees and reminded us that we can defeat the virus only when collective immunity is formed. This requires at least 60% of the population to be vaccinated. The effectiveness of herd immunity against coronavirus has already been proven by the examples of Great Britain and Israel, where about 90% of the population has been vaccinated and there has been a significant decline in the incidence and mortality from covid.
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