We asked Plastic Surgery Consultant Mr Ertan Erel, who works at University Hospitals North Midlands, in the UK health system (NHS) about Covid 19 vaccination. Turkish doctor Ertan Erel, was among the healthcare professionals who were vaccinated three days ago.
Journalist İsmail Karakaş asked him about the vaccine studies and when the epidemic would end, and Specialist, Doctor Plastic Surgeon Ertan Erel answered.
İsmail Karakaş - Turkish Press News - London
Why were vaccination studies so delayed?
Is the vaccine content known?
How many doses will the vaccine be given?
Does the vaccine have any side effects on the human body?
How long does the vaccine protect against the virus?
What percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated to control the virus to end pandemic?
Chinese vaccine, Russian vaccine, German vaccine, British vaccine, is it different?
When does the epidemic end?
- Will there be a pandemic again?
Here are the answers ...
İsmail Karakaş: Why were vaccination studies so delayed?
Mr Ertan Erel: Vaccine studies have actually resulted in a short time. Normally, the research, development, license and approval period of a drug or vaccine takes approximately 12 years. Due to the rapid spread of the pandemic and many people lost their lives, phase 2 and phase 3 trials of vaccines were carried out very quickly and tried in fever number of people. In this way, vaccines became available earlier than expected.
İsmail Karakaş: Is the vaccine content known?
Mr Ertan Erel: Vaccines are usually treated with the formol substance so that microorganisms lose their ability to cause disease and are dead or weakened. These vaccines, called attenuates, maintain their immune ability and produce antibodies when they are administered to the body. BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine is a high-tech mRNA vaccine produced with recombinant protein technology. This is the first time a vaccine has been produced using this method. Some drugs have been used with this method before.
İsmail Karakaş: How many doses will the vaccine be given?
Mr Ertan Erel: All Covid19 vaccines will be given 2 doses at different times.
İsmail Karakaş: How long should the vaccination interval be?
Mr Ertan Erel: Originally, it is recommended that the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine should be repeated after 3 weeks. Following the first dose of BioNTech-Pfizer vaccination, its protective effect could be around 90% and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 70%. Since the number of vaccines is currently insufficient in the UK, it was recommended by The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that the second dose of vaccination should be administered within three months of the first dose.
The reason for this is to vaccinate a larger part of the population at risk in a short period of time and to save more lives. In this way, protection will be provided for at least 6 months period. The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine was administered to 1 million people in the UK, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was introduced this week and 530,000 were distributed in the first place. It was announced that 2 million Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will be produced every week after the second week of January. Vaccines will be given in more than 700 centres in addition to the hospitals in UK. There are enough medical staff to administer the vaccine.
İsmail Karakaş: Should the second vaccine be produced by the same company?
Mr Ertan Erel: It was suggested by the Public Health England (PHE) that the first and the second doses of vaccines were produced by the same company. If the first vaccine is not known or if the same type of vaccine is not available, the other vaccine can be administered as a second dose.
İsmail Karakaş: Does the vaccine have any side effects on the human body?
Mr Ertan Erel: Every foreign molecule has an adverse effect potential in the body, including drugs. Even aspirin can cause side effects in some people. We expect vaccines to produce very mild symptoms of viral infection for a short time. Some people in the community may not want to be vaccinated because of side effects or other reasons. Normally vaccines are produced over for many years and their side effects are well reported.
Since Covid19 vaccines are produced quickly, their side effects risks could not be calculated in detail. However, their serious side effects are rare, even if such an effect is one in a thousand or a million, the protection of the vaccine is at least over 20% and vaccination is much more advantageous in all respects.
İsmail Karakaş: Did you have any side effects following your vaccination?
Mr Ertan Erel: I had the BioNTech vaccine 3 days ago and I experienced side effects such as very mild headache, pain at the injection site for 2 days and mild nasal congestion.
İsmail Karakaş: How long does the vaccine protect against the virus?
Mr Ertan Erel: Although the protection period of the vaccine is not clear, it is expected to be 6 months. This may shorten depending on the virus's mutation rate.
İsmail Karakaş: What percentage of the country's population needs to be vaccinated to control the virus?
Mr Ertan Erel: With the herd immunity rationale, at least 60% of the population should have been infected or vaccinated. At that time, the virus spread becomes very low and pandemic should end in a short period time. Currently, 15-20% virus transmission including vaccinations has occurred and asymptomatic cases are also included in this figure.
İsmail Karakaş: Chinese vaccine, Russian vaccine, German vaccine, British vaccine, is it different?
Mr Ertan Erel: Chinese and Russian vaccines are attenuated or dead vaccines. All Covid 19 vaccines, except the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, were produced by this method. I already explained the German vaccine above. It was produced by recombinant protein technology which is very new technology for vaccine production but it gives a lot of hope.
İsmail Karakaş: When do you think the epidemic will end? Will there be another pandemic again?
Mr Ertan Erel: Considering this mutation and spreading rate, vaccination programme and past epidemics of the same family (SARS 2002, MERS 2012), it can be estimated that this infection will end in June-September 2021. Following the end of pandemic, Covid 19 infection will continue as a harmless flu-like infection. However, it can be predicted that a similar pandemic will come back again after 7-10 years period.
For this reason, drug research and development should be more important and priority.
Corona virus spreads and causes disease by binding to receptors (ACE-2, TMPRSS2) mainly in the alveolar cell membrane. Following entering into the cell via Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) for S protein priming virus multiplies.
Blocking these receptors with drugs will be an important step in preventing future pandemics from this family of viruses. Scientists have already started research on this subject. You can read an article from the link below example from Turkey.
http://cms.galenos.com.tr/Uploads/Article_42777/BezmialemScience-8-79-En.pdf You can read the article from the link here.