January 27, 2021 6 min read
This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. This story originally appeared on The Conversation
By A. Victoria de Andrés Fernández, University of Malaga
They are already here. The vaccination machinery is launched simultaneously throughout the continent.
Do we clap or do we run to hide?
Well, absolutely, you have to applaud. But you also have to empathize with those who, from a world outside science, need (and rightly so) important aspects to be clarified before taking the decisive step and offering their bare arm to the biotechnology revolution.
We are going to gather the clarifications into four conceptual categories:
1.- The pandemic has endangered the two great treasures of all countries: their population and their economy. Regardless of ideologies, political parties, geographical location, historical trajectory or geopolitical strategies, the search for the vaccine is the common interest of absolutely all states.
2.- For a country to prioritize the fight against SARS-CoV-2 is of no use if the rest of the planet does not do the same. In a global world, you are not bio-sanitary safe from a pandemic wherever you live.
3.- Vaccines save lives. According to the prestigious virologist Marie-Paule Kieny, nothing has contributed more to the increase in the survival rate of humanity than the purification of water and mass vaccinations.
4- It is the first time in its history that Science joins in the common cause of finding a generalized solution that protects us against COVID-19. This means money, priority in scientific research and the best specialized minds working on it (fortunately, and unlike politics, science is the best furnished heads; it has been a process of pure natural selection).
5.- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is one of the most rigorous, conservative and serious organizations on the planet. Their professionalism in allowing the commercialization and use of new vaccines is our greatest guarantee of safety.
6.- Today, there is no known effective therapy against COVID-19.
1.- Vaccines alter our DNA because they are made of RNA, which is genetic material.
The latest generation vaccines (such as those from Pfizer and Moderna) are based on introducing into cells the templates for the synthesis of antibodies against the virus in the form of messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules. Certainly. But this is done in the cell cytoplasm, which is where the ribosomes (the antibody factories) are. Our DNA is enclosed in the nucleus of the cell, where it doesn’t even smell like the mRNAs that have entered the cytoplasm of our lymphocytes (anyway, even if it smells them, nothing would happen because the gene expression process acts unidirectionally from the DNA to ribosomes, never the other way around).
2.- There has not been enough time to make a safe vaccine.
As recalled by the president of the Spanish Vaccination Association, Amós García Rojas, the protocolized phases in the process of generating the new vaccines (of strict compliance) have not been skipped, but have overlapped. This, together with the fact that they have been carried out at different times in different countries, has made it possible to win months. Therefore, the large-scale monitoring of toxicity, immunogenicity, and SAEs (serious adverse events), required to achieve EMA approval, has been done well.
1.- When we get vaccinated, will we be forever protected against the virus?
Answer: We don’t know.
The phase that is really missing in all the generation processes of our innovative vaccines is phase IV. This is where the data on long-term immunity come in. As Bruno Pitard, director of the CNRS, states, the preliminary results suggest that “vaccinated individuals are well protected one week after” the second dose against the virus, but “We don’t know what will happen next.”
2.- How many doses of vaccine will be necessary?
Answer: We don’t know either.
We will know when the development of phase IV collects, over time, the necessary information. From the outset, as it is not a traditional vaccine (see article Covid-19 vaccines: an understandable comparison, we will need, from the outset, booster doses.
3.- If I get vaccinated, will I be able to forget forever about the uncomfortable protection measures?
Remember that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have a very good efficacy (greater than 90%) but not total, that is, it is not guaranteed that 100% of those vaccinated will be free of the incidence of the disease if they come into contact with the virus. Of course, vaccinated we will go much calmer because, in case of accidental contact, the chances that the viral proliferation will prosper within us will be very small. Consequently, the chances of both becoming ill and being an asymptomatic carrier of the virus will be minimal.
4.- Can vaccines generate dangerous allergic reactions?
Answer: It does not depend on the vaccine itself, but on the characteristics of the immune system of the person receiving it.
For this reason, the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC) has contraindicated them for people who have had a serious reaction to a food or drug and has recalled that these vaccines have, in principle, the same contraindications as the rest of vaccines . In other words, if you have allergy problems, you will need to be as careful with these vaccines as you would with any other new medicine / food / protein with antigenic capacity that irritates your delicate immune system.
1.- SARS-CoV-2 is “the great lie of governments”. Vaccination is part of a great conspiracy to introduce us to microchips and keep us under control for life
Answer: Aghhhh !!!
So many centuries of advancement of scientific knowledge for this… Please listen to the specialists and leave the Miguelesbés and the like to dance when all this happens.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.