In Europe, there is a fear of the third wave, fueled by the Delta variant. “We have all the weapons to avoid it and there is no reason not to use them,” he warns the immunologist Francesco Le Foche. He obviously refers to vaccines: “It’s like having a highway available to get out of the pandemic and decide not to take it.”
The vaccinated with at least two doses in European countries are just 24%. Disappointing budget?
“The percentage is very low (here the vaccinations in Italy). It is not understandable the attitude of those who would like to give up the second dose which completely protects against the mutant strain. After completing the cycle, the risk of contagion becomes negligible and even if an individual becomes infected they would develop a very mild disease».
How can this reluctance be explained? In Italy, over 2.5 million over 60s have not even started the vaccination cycle.
«It is a cultural problem, of hostility to vaccines, in particular to these surrounded by a blanket of fake news which compromises their luck. A proportion of people will have practical obstacles in making an appointment, then there are unmotivated fears. I believe that the only figures capable of convincing the hesitant are family doctors. I hope they are calling their patients to explain the advantage of vaccination ».
What if this slice of the population proves definitively opposed to getting vaccinated?
“An open reservoir of infections would remain and many people in the next 3-4 months would risk ending up in hospital for refusing a vaccine that is necessary not only for ourselves but for the entire community. There is the right to health and the moral duty to protect that of others ».
Is there a fear of a new wave after the summer due to variations?
“I’m not afraid of a new wave. I am more afraid of prejudices against science. If it were reached the immunity that I call solidarity, of community, in September October we would be out of danger. However, it is necessary that the same coverage is obtained in Europe and in non-industrialized countries. The presence of millions of unvaccinated people would in fact favor the circulation of the coronavirus and the birth of new variants that would force us to postpone the definitive exit from the emergency “.
How long does the immunity given by the vaccine last? New data on immunological memory are arriving that bode well on the recognition and response capacity of our immune system to subsequent exposure to Sars-CoV-2.
«Experience in the field will tell us that the duration goes well beyond 12 months. Immune memory is a well-known mechanism and there is no reason not to believe that it should also come into play for this virus. The problem is that we don’t know it well and we need to be careful in taking certain acquisitions for granted ».
Second dose on vacation. What do you think?
“I believe that all of us should give priority to health and it doesn’t seem like a tragedy to plan the holidays in such a way as not to skip the second dose if it is not possible to have it in the resort”.
There is some hesitation in vaccinating adolescents. Because it is important?
«We remove the virus replication reservoir and reduce the risk of contagion of fragile people, for example those about 2.5 million over 60 years old. We also have opportunities to get children back to school with good immunization, improving the safety of public transport ».
Boys rarely get sick.
«Yes, but even in these cases there may be individual predispositions capable of being able to trigger a systemic disease, which affects any organ and system. Pediatricians are in favor and should not be frightened by the few cases of myocarditis observed in Israel in young people between 18 and 23 years old. It is not fully demonstrated that these episodes are directly attributable to vaccination despite having a chronological confirmation ».
July 1, 2021 (change July 1, 2021 | 21:55)
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