Herd immunity is needed by the unvaccinated. In the meantime, let’s everyone take care of themselves personally.

Alexander Myasnikov, chief physician of the Moscow Zhadkevich City Clinical Hospital. Photo: Alexander Shcherbak / TASS

In the virtual studio of the radio station “Komsomolskaya Pravda” we talked with a famous doctor, TV presenter, head physician of the Moscow City Clinical Hospital named after M. Ye. Zhadkevich Alexander Myasnikov.


– Alexander Leonidovich, our people are now so actively passing tests for antibodies that in Moscow recently there were even interruptions in the supply of reagents in commercial medical laboratories. Do you really need to test for antibodies? If so, which ones and when?

– If you look at the European and American recommendations, then you do not need to take antibody tests to make a decision on vaccination. Such tests may be needed by doctors to determine the phase of the disease. Acute phase – IgM antibodies are present. If a person has IgG antibodies, the disease has already been in the past. If both are elevated, we understand that the patient is going to recover.

In our country, people often do tests for the purpose of diagnostics: have I been ill with covid? Previously, it was important to understand whether you have protection or not. Because up to 30% of people suffered from the disease on their feet, or even asymptomatic. But in the era of mass vaccination, there is no longer any logic to such testing. Even if you have antibodies, the vaccine provides additional protection against new mutations in the virus. If so, why spend money doing antibody tests and delaying the necessary vaccinations?


– In Russia, it is now starting, and in Moscow, the re-vaccination of those who were vaccinated more than six months ago, and the vaccination of those who have recovered are already in full swing. With the latter, everything is more or less clear. We know that WHO and many foreign medical associations recommend vaccinated patients after six months, or even faster. But to be re-vaccinated earlier than a year later, there are still no official recommendations abroad. Why do you think?

– The problem is that we are still walking along an unknown road, laying a ski track on virgin soil. Nobody has gone there yet. But we understand that the concentration of antibodies decreases over time, and memory immune cells also begin to lose their functions in about six months. Covid flows in waves. Reactivation of vaccination gives protection only after one and a half to two months. There will be another outbreak in October-November. To be ready for it, you need to revaccinate now.

In general, initially, when the question arose about the vaccine, many doctors said that at least once a year they would have to be vaccinated. I even wrote that there will probably be some kind of vaccine against coronavirus together with influenza in one syringe. During the time covid has arrived, we see outbreaks occur twice a year. It looks like this will continue. Three months outbreak, three months interval. Will it always be necessary to vaccinate every six months? No one knows. Probably, after all, once a year.


– If a person has a PCR test positive for coronavirus, should it be rechecked?

– No, it’s not worth double-checking. Because a false positive PCR test is casuistry. But a negative one does not mean anything (that is, it is far from always a guarantee that a person does not have a coronavirus – Ed.). The PCR test is an extremely sensitive reaction. False negative happens, for example, when a cotton swab was poked somewhere near your ear, anointed, moved side by side and simply did not receive enough material. If you are somewhere abroad, there they thrust this thing right into your brain, at the right angle, at the right depth, this is very important. And it’s not that safe. There is a certain percentage of cases of severe bleeding after the test. And how we take it – there is nothing to be surprised that we have a lot of false negative tests. Often, poor-quality material fence, this is all too often.

COVID-19 vaccination station in Gostiny Dvor.

COVID-19 vaccination station in Gostiny Dvor.

Photo: Ivan MAKEEV


– Clinical studies of Sputnik in adolescents have begun in Moscow. What do you think: children will need to be vaccinated in the future?

– If we talk about vaccination of children and pregnant women, then I would have a different approach. I would vaccinate pregnant women with risk factors – those who, with covid disease, can die or get serious complications. If not, I would abstain. It’s my personal opinion.

– The Ministry of Health also decided so – in the recent recommendations it is said that it is the expectant mothers from risk groups that need to be vaccinated. What about the children?

– As for the vaccination of children, I would also think ten times what kind of children. If a child is sickly, weak, that is one thing. If a normal growing child, I would wait for the results of vaccine studies on children, this is happening not only in our country, but all over the world.


– With the help of vaccination, we not only try to protect the vaccinated themselves, but also to protect others from infection. At the same time, it is known that in clinical trials, say, Sputnik, the effectiveness of the vaccine was tested precisely to prevent a severe form of the disease. And to what extent the vaccinated are protected from the asymptomatic form, but at the same time contagious to others, it seems to be unknown …

– Yes, this is a serious question. The words about herd immunity actually remind me of talking about Bigfoot. Everyone is talking about him, but no one has seen him. Personally, I don’t really believe in the achievement of herd immunity in covid. In the sense that herd immunity will interrupt the procession of the coronavirus across the planet. Will not interrupt. Covid will stay.

And Western companies, and Pfizer, and AstraZeneca, scientists unanimously say: we do not know if vaccination interrupts the transmission from an asymptomatic person to others. The Americans wrote about this six months ago. Europeans write about this. And we began to write. Still no one can say how effective vaccination is in this regard. Yes, it protects against serious illnesses, deaths – statistics show this. Also, vaccination reduces the viral load in the nasopharynx. But whether this interrupts the chain of infection from an asymptomatic person to others who are not vaccinated – we do not know.

Based on this, the CDC (the American analogue of Rospotrebnadzor) and the WHO say: vaccinated people must wear masks under certain conditions. It is protecting others from you.

Herd immunity is needed by the unvaccinated. If we achieve it, their risks will decrease. But since this is still a vague thing, let’s everyone take care of themselves personally. Let’s get personal immunity – get vaccinated.


“Coronavirus is not a bug, it does not stick into the hands”

– When do you think we will be allowed not to wear gloves and will stop taking fines for their absence?

– Sorry for being straightforward, this is idiocy from the very beginning. No country in the world has a requirement for gloves. Okay, at first we didn’t know exactly how the covid was transmitted. But from the first day it was clear that the coronavirus is not a tick, not a bug, it does not stick into hands. And the glove itself is a source of infection. If you don’t take them off, everything sticks to them. Gloves become a colossal source of infection, worse than leather. Because the skin has a bactericidal effect of its own cells.

I’ve been talking about this for more than a year now. Why make people angry with nonsense? I have no explanation.


“Because of the QR code, the son cannot get into the Moscow public catering”

– QR codes have been introduced in Moscow for visiting restaurants. And in the subway we are like herring in a barrel. What’s the point?

– I don’t see the logic. In a stuffy room, in the subway, no matter how they ventilate, why bend your heart – the risks of getting infected are high. Hence the recommendation – if you need to get somewhere, if possible, walk, get on a bike, take a taxi (in the latter case, be sure to open the windows to ventilate – there could be infected passengers in front of you). Once again, I would not recommend going down the metro today during rush hours. Transport is generally an infectious threat. In Europe, more than twenty people will simply not be allowed on the bus. You are sitting alone in a row.

As for QR codes, in principle this is a good thing if everything was done smartly. I ran into problems from personal experience. My son came to see me, he is a medical student in France. Vaccinated with Pfizer vaccine. We do not recognize it, we do not give a QR code. He went and took a nasal swab for PCR. Gave a QR code that should work. But he is not allowed into any restaurant with this code. It lights up red. There is a QR code, but it must be registered with the State Services. When that doesn’t work, it causes legitimate annoyance. And we are not alone, I know a lot of such cases.


What awaits us next

– Now the delta strain is raging. Because of him, a new wave in Russia, with new anti-mortality records. What will save us this time? The virus is more contagious, everyone is tired and relaxed, so far only a small part of the population is vaccinated …

– The virus mutates and will mutate. And any mutation will go in the direction of contagion. Due to the fact that the mass vaccination did not happen immediately, the strongest variants of the virus survive. We cultivate it ourselves.

As for vaccines, I said a year ago: 90% effectiveness is on healthy young volunteers. When the vaccine goes to the masses, the effectiveness of any vaccine drops to about 50-60%. Moreover, new strains appear that partially escape from immunity.

And there will be more new strains. With the flu, we encounter new mutations every year. Nothing unnatural happens. Our business is to get vaccinated. This is the only thing we can do.


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Cross-vaccination: AstraZeneca is followed by an mRNA vaccine | NDR.de – guide

Status: 07/09/2021 01:03 p.m.

Anyone who received their first vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine should now receive their second vaccination with an mRNA vaccine. This is the recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO).

Anyone who was vaccinated against corona has usually received the same vaccine for the first and second vaccination. That is different now. The Standing Vaccination Commission recommends so-called cross vaccinations. That means: Anyone who received the first vaccination with AstraZeneca should receive a second dose of BioNTech or Moderna regardless of age. The vaccination interval should be at least four weeks.

Significantly better immune response

The reason is the highly contagious delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is spreading more and more. According to current study results, the immune response to a cross vaccination is “clearly superior” to that of a first and second vaccination with AstraZeneca. This means that the protection against corona is higher then. According to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, the protection after two vaccinations with AstraZeneca is also very good. However, a combination is particularly effective.

New strategy calls for changed planning

The northern German federal states implement the STIKO recommendation, even if this is associated with increased planning effort. Since the second vaccination with an mRNA vaccine should be done earlier than with AstraZeneca, other patients have to wait longer for their first vaccination appointment. In addition, many general practitioners fear that practices will be left with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

additional Information

The country delivers around 90,000 doses of mRNA vaccine to vaccination centers. There is also a shorter vaccination interval. more

Laboratory scene with syringe.  © picture alliance / Klaus Ohlenschläger

First vaccination AstraZeneca, second vaccination Moderna or Biontech – this is currently recommended. But that messes up the planning. more

A clinic employee draws a Covid-19 vaccine for a vaccination on a syringe.  © picture alliance / Sven Hoppe Photo: Sven Hoppe

Biontech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson: Four products against the coronavirus are currently approved in the EU. more

This topic in the program:

NDR Info | 03.07.2021 | 22:04

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Neutralizing antibodies, witnesses to the success of a vaccine

How many antibodies do you need to be protected from Covid-19 after the vaccine? Researchers at the University of Oxford think they have found an initial answer!

Anti-Covid vaccines protect us because they stimulate the production of antibodies specific to the coronavirus that prevent it from coming to the end of its viral cycle and from multiplying in our cells. But what the scientific community is struggling to determine is the actual amount of antibody from which a vaccinated person is protected.

A research group from the University of Oxford worked on this question and pre-published their findings at the end of June, sure medRxiv. The researchers put in light a correlation between the amount of antibody and the efficacy of theAstraZeneca.

Antibody level and vaccine efficacy

The study used data obtained from volunteers from a clinical test conducted in the UK on the AstraZeneca vaccine. The serum of volunteers, vaccines who contracted Covid-19 – symptomatic or not – was taken 28 days after the second dose. The researchers quantified three types of antibodies: anti-protein S Ig G, anti-RBD Ig G and neutralizing antibodies.

Thus, they observed a correlation between the amount of antibodies and the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and therefore the risk of getting sick. To achieve an efficiency of 80% against the symptomatic forms of Covid, you need an anti-protein S Ig G level of 40,923 (in absolute value), an anti-RBD Ig G level of 63,383 (absolute value) and a level of neutralizing antibodies between 180 and 247 (absolute value). This is one of the first studies to highlight this correlation, which was not observed for asymptomatic forms.

A correlation to be taken with a grain of salt

Does that mean that below those numbers the vaccine didn’t work? It’s a tempting interpretation, but these results are not without flaws. First of all, they only concern the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not the most administered in France, and cannot necessarily be transposed to other available formulas. In addition, the confidence intervals for antibody levels are very tall. In other words, there is a lot of variability between people.

Antibody levels below those shown here do not necessarily mean the vaccine did not work. And, on the contrary, higher rates do not mean that a person is overprotected and must give up all other precautions.

Interested in what you just read?


Corona vaccination is also effective against cancer

Cancer patients can count on good protection against Covid-19 from mRNA vaccines. This is the result of a study in Switzerland and the USA on 131 people with tumor diseases who were vaccinated twice with Comirnaty from Biontech / Pfizer or Spikevax from Moderna. As reported by a team led by Alfredo Addeo from the University of Geneva and Dimpy P. Shah from the Mays Cancer Center in San Antonio, 124 of the test subjects had developed antibodies against the spike protein four weeks after the second vaccination. Only seven showed no immune response, they report in the publication in “Cancer Cell”. The immune response in cancer patients thus proves to be surprisingly robust compared to other groups with a weakened immune system.


Fibromyalgia, causes identified in the immune system – Medicine

(ANSA) – ROME, 02 JUL – A potential step forward in the understanding of fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by pain, muscle weakness and chronic fatigue that affects one in 40 people in the world, in 80% of cases women: it would be a disorder of the immune system and not of a nervous nature, in short, it seems to be an autoimmune disease such as type 1 diabetes or thyroiditis. This is suggested by a study conducted by experts from King’s College London and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, according to which by injecting the antibodies collected from the blood of patients into mice, the mice begin to manifest the symptoms of fibromyalgia until their bodies clear up. from the injected antibodies.

Among the symptoms triggered by this ” transfusion ” of antibodies, the experts noted an increased sensitivity to pain, muscle weakness, reduced movement.

When the experts injected antibodies from healthy people, none of these symptoms appeared in the mice. Symptoms were similar in all cases in which the injected antibodies were from patients, regardless of their geographic origin.

This shows that the antibodies initiate deleterious reactions to the organism that scientists will now try to detect. In the meantime, they explain, since therapies already exist to keep antibodies at bay in other autoimmune diseases, the hope is that this discovery will accelerate the development of new treatments for fibromyalgia.