As an expert, I do not agree with restrictive measures that would stimulate vaccination. Vaccine affirmation can be done in a much more cultural and professional way. They really save lives, make a campaign for that.
I am preparing the second edition of the textbook on Medical Microbiology for medical students, as an editor. I see the chapter Immunotherapy and immunoprophylaxis, in the section Classification of vaccines, and it lists: live vaccines, inactivated vaccines (viruses, bacteria or toxins), recombinant vaccines (mRNA, vector, protein, etc.), combined vaccines, mandatory, voluntary, seasonal, etc. All vaccines are said to be applied in order for a person to gain immunity to a particular disease or to achieve collective immunity through mass vaccination. Where and how should I classify the vaccines against Covid-19 that are applied today with the sole purpose of obtaining a certificate, Ausweis, Covid Pass and what name should I give them? “Ausweis vaccines” may not be suitable for the textbook, but I’m sure students would remember them forever. In my daily volunteer work, I often communicate with citizens and give them advice about the pandemic. I come across a lot of questions about vaccines to which I have no satisfactory answer. Here are some examples:
- I had Covid-19 in August 2021, I have 500 times more antibodies than the reference value. I have to be vaccinated in the next 15 days, because my certificate is valid for 45 days. Which vaccine, please?
- I had Covid-19 in April this year, I have antibodies five times above the reference value. You advised me to take one dose of Pfizer. I believe that the second dose is unnecessary, as you claim, but I will not be able to get a Covid Pass with one dose, and I need it.
- I have been vaccinated with two doses of Sputnik (the same goes for Sinovak, Sinofarm). I have antibodies, but they are not recognized in the EU for a Covid pass. Which vaccine should I get vaccinated with now, Pfizer or Astra?
- Our son has to go for studies in Great Britain. He was vaccinated here in Skopje with two doses of Pfizer, but Britain does not recognize the vaccines received in our country, nor in other Balkan countries that are not in the EU. Should I take him to Kyustendil (Bulgaria) to receive two more doses of Pfizer? Otherwise, even with a negative PCR test, he will still have to go to quarantine for ten days.
- I have antibodies hundred times above the reference value. I have not been sick with Covid-19. Should I get vaccinated? Which vaccine should I choose?
For all 5 cases, through which thousands of citizens are represented, my answer is: you do not need a vaccine, except for the second case where you only need one dose. However, they are under duress, either from the measures adopted in their country Macedonia, where a certificate is needed for an entry into a restaurant, theater, malls and indoor premises, or from the countries to which they should travel. So, the vaccines would be given unnecessarily to these people, without benefit. On top of it, they can have side effects, and are also a great financial cost. The positive effect on individual and collective health is zero; vaccination in that period is unnecessary and unreasonable. It is a kind of coercion. Who will be responsible for forcing a person to be vaccinated for the sole purpose of obtaining a certificate? A special problem is Macedonia, which issues a certificate of recovery lasting only 45 days!!! To continue his certification, a newly recovered, naturally immunized person, needs to receive two doses of vaccine at the moment when his IgG antibodies are at their peak. This already looks like a crime.
As an expert, I do not agree with restrictive measures that would stimulate vaccination. Vaccine affirmation can be done in a much more cultural and professional way. They really save lives, make a campaign for that. In our small Macedonia, this is confirmed by the mortality from Covid-19 in the current wave. Cities with more than 50% vaccine coverage had ten times lower mortality than cities with a vaccinated population below 20%. Unprofessional measures like this one, where you can be vaccinated with one dose and, five minutes later, you get a certificate, although you will get immunity after a month, only give strength to the anti-vaxxers.
As for the Ausweis vaccines, I would write in the textbook: “The best Ausweis vaccines that those containing only saline.”
Nikola Panovski, MD, Professor of microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine, UKIM Skopje