Sunday , May 16 2021

COVID vaccines and the spread of the virus, from fear of the unknown to belief in science, Bulgaria

COVID vaccines and the spread of the virus, from fear of the unknown to belief in science

© Julia Lazarova

Three months after his public remarks, the Minister of Health, Professor Kostadin Angelov, found opinions contrary to one of the most frequently asked questions since the beginning of the vaccination campaign: whether the immunized can spread the coronavirus or not. .

At first it was, “I can’t wait to see my 70-year-old father without worrying that he might infect him with a coronavirus infection.” The words, uttered on December 27, shortly after becoming the first vaccinated Bulgarian, expressed full confidence that immunized people would not infect other people if they became infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and argued that “vaccinated antibodies should kill the virus immediately and not be able to transmit coronavirus infection.”

At the end of March in Les Burges, in a comment on the outbreak of an infection in a nursing home in Opanets, where vaccinated people predominate, Angelov already has another position: “Vaccinated people can transmit the virus.” It was repeated in the latest report on the situation of COVID in the country: “If you ask me if vaccinated people transmit the infection, yes, vaccinated people can transmit the infection.”

Because they are final, both statements are inaccurate. “The impact of the vaccine on the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in society has not yet been clarified. It is still unclear to what extent those vaccinated could be carriers and spread the virus,” the statement said. here, here, here and here) for the four approved vaccines. Months after the drugs were marketed and widely used around the world, scientists continue to have doubts about the extent to which immunization limits the spread of infection.

The “strange case” in Opanets

In mid-March, health authorities reported an outbreak of COVID-19 at a nursing home in the village of Dobrich in Opanets. According to the Minister of Health, of the 40 residents in the home, 31 gave a positive result to their test. The detail that aroused interest in the case was that about a third of those housed in the home: 14 people were vaccinated, with two doses.

Initially, it was reported that the infection was transmitted both among the vaccinated and among other people in the household. Kostadin Angelov later announced that “the employee whose epidemic began to spread was not vaccinated,” and the chief health inspector, Professor Angel Kunchev, clarified that the reason for what passing was “staff’s reluctance to be vaccinated when suggested.” In fact, the exact chain of infection is difficult to trace and prove.

A few days late, the focus of what happened in Opanets fell on a more significant aspect: that if the drug had time to protect itself before infection, the vaccines would not get sick or pass the infection very easily. . According to health authorities, two of those vaccinated at the nursing home had fever and cough, some of the others had mild symptoms and none needed hospital treatment. This result, according to Angel Kunchev, illustrates the effect of vaccination: “Dobrich is the perfect example of what is happening around the world: it shows that the main purpose of the vaccine is not to meet the virus, but get severe. course and complications “.

The difficult test

One of the reasons why the question of whether asymptomatic vaccinated people are spreading the infection remains open for now lies in how to structure clinical trials. The efficacy of COVID-19 approved vaccines was calculated by comparing the number of symptoms vaccinated with the number of symptoms but not vaccinated. It is not known from the studies whether other recipients of the drug became infected but showed no symptoms.

“While asymptomatic people appear contagious for a shorter period of time and may carry a lower risk of spread, they continue to pose a serious risk to public health because they are more likely to be in the community. (i.e., they move freely because they do not know they are infected).“, is the conclusion of the US virologist Angela Rasmussen in a publication of the journal Science (science – in English).

Therefore, at this global stage, health authorities recommend that vaccinated people continue to wear masks and keep their distance.

In an interview with Dnevnik, Velislava Petrova, a doctor in infectious diseases and immunology, explained that studies examining whether vaccination affects the spread of the virus are difficult because it means participants need to be checked very often for PCR. A test with a sample of the nasal cavity to see if they have parts of the virus.

A few days ago, at a White House press conference, the U.S. government’s leading expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced the start of a study in the United States, which aims to answer whether vaccinated of two doses can become infected without symptoms and, if so, infect other people. According to him, the study will cover more than 12,000 students from 20 different universities. Each of them will have to keep an electronic diary, give nose samples every day, as well as indicate the names of their close contacts, which will also be tested. The study is estimated to last five months.

In a post on Facebook, in response to the frequently asked question “Can I infect other people after the COVID-19 vaccine,” immunologist Dra. Tsvetelina Velikova explained that it is recommended that vaccinated people follow anti-epidemic measures, because “even if we have protective immunity, it can not prevent the virus from entering the body. Only after it enters and is” informed “by our system immune system on it, it activates and blocks both the same and its subsequent replication “.

Theoretically it is possible for it to reproduce before it is destroyed by the vaccine’s immunity and meanwhile the vaccinated person exposed to the virus infects others.

Dra. Tsvetelina Velikova,


Good directions

Manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines “Pfizer” “BioNTech” and “AstraZeneca” / Oxford published information on indications that their preparations show a decrease in the spread of coronavirus.

“Our reports suggest that the vaccine may protect against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. The company after a study together with the Israeli Ministry of Health. AstraZeneca / Oxford, on the other hand, have had evidence of ‘a decrease in the asymptomatic spread of the virus since its clinical trial.The company reported that some of the study volunteers took nasal samples weekly and the results of PCR tests showed a drop in positive samples.

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