Sergio Abrignani, immunologist of the technical scientific committee (CTS), what are the advantages of vaccinating adolescents?
“The countries that have already vaccinated millions of young people between 17 and 25 years of age, Israel and the United States, have reaffirmed in documents issued by their respective health authorities that the protection of young people, therefore also of adolescents, is of primary importance in as part of a virus containment strategy. It is in the public interest ».
Problems to whom in particular, given that in September at least half of Italians will be immunized (here the record of 600 thousand doses per day) and the weakest categories by age will be safe?
«Even after having secured 50 million Italians with one or two doses, about 1% of them will not be exempt from the risk. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or autoimmune patients with a very compromised immune system from immunosuppressive therapies do not respond to vaccination and therefore could be infected and have very serious consequences, even fatal. For this reason I strongly hope, and I believe in it, that the very young will not hold back not feeling personally in danger (here the intervention of the scientists Biondi and Mantovani) ».
What other reasons to bet on convinced membership?
“We have to take the virus out of the way, not let it run. If we reduce the pool of people who can be affected, we will also reduce the development of new variants. So far it has gone well for us. Those that have appeared, including the so-called Indian, indicated by the WHO Delta variant, have not greatly affected the effectiveness of the vaccines. But if we give Sars-CoV-2 other opportunities to replicate, it could eventually spot the mutation capable of escaping prophylaxis. “
She appeals to the sense of responsibility of teenagers and parents.
“That’s right, you make a great gesture in the interest of the community. In Italy we have cried 126 thousand dead, the lives of all of us have been turned upside down. The children have suffered a lot, deprived of their freedoms, and will understand that now they must participate in the reconstruction of normality ».
General Figliuolo believes that herd immunity can be achieved in September. Do you agree or do you think, like the virologist Fauci, that this is an unforeseeable goal at the moment?
“The emergency commissioner has done an incredible job. Today, however, it is difficult to estimate if and when we will reach herd immunity because we do not know to what extent the vaccinated, although protected from the disease, are not contagious. It is not known exactly how many are protected from asymptomatic infection. On the one hand, as an immunologist, I share Fauci’s uncertainty, on the other hand I think it is very important to set goals and imagine that in September we could achieve group immunity ».
When will we equal Great Britain, which has been stuck on 1-2 victims a day for Covid for weeks?
«I hope by June. To go down to the levels of Great Britain, however, we will have to vaccinate most of the susceptible to the serious effects of the virus and about 2.5 million over-sixties are still missing ”.
As an immunologist, what do you think of the serological tests that are in great demand?
“It doesn’t make much sense to do a serological test to measure antibodies. There is no correlation of protection from infection, i.e. we do not know what level above which there is protection. Furthermore, there are no standardized tests, but many different tests. In medicine there are no diagnostic tests whose response does not lead to decisions or to inform about the clinical course ».
June 6, 2021 (change June 6, 2021 | 21:10)
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