Professor Bílková: We Have a Unique Chance to Get the Situation Under Control

23. 2. 2021

We Have a Unique Chance to Get the Situation Under Control but the Vaccines Must Not Be Sitting in the Fridge

According to the immunologist Zuzana Bílková from the Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice, the summer of 2021 may be a calm one. But only on the condition that the vaccination is carried out fairly quickly, everyone knows what to do and the vaccines are not sitting in the fridge waiting for application.

“We have a unique opportunity to get the situation under control but the organization must not fail and the vaccination must be as fast as possible,” says Professor Bílková. According to her, every vaccinated person reduces the risk of infection.

Does it make sense to wait for a better vaccine?

According to Professor Bílková, the vaccines currently used in the Czech Republic contain viral mRNA, which is a single-stranded nucleic acid. This type of vaccine contains a “guide” on how our cells should produce a protein which is highly specific to the SARS-CoV2 virus causing COVID-19.

“The immune system recognizes this protein, activates itself and starts to produce specific antibodies. At the same time, it remembers what the virus looks like to be able to step in when it attacks again,” explains Professor Bílková. The mRNA molecule rapidly dissociates in the body and is therefore unable to alter the genetic information of our cells.

“In my opinion, the safety of the vaccines currently available in the Czech Republic is very high. These are vaccines produced by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna. There is definitely no reason to hesitate to get vaccinated and wait for better or safer vaccines,” says Zuzana Bílková. According to the immunologist, close attention should be paid to the selection of those who can be vaccinated without risk.

Antigen test just before vaccination

Professor Zuzana Bílková recommends that every person be examined before the vaccination. All possible contraindications should be considered directly at the vaccination centre.

“It’s easy for everybody to take an antigen test at the vaccination centre. The result is available in 10–15 minutes. This will detect people who are positive but have no symptoms or the clinical symptoms have not yet manifested. These persons should definitely not be vaccinated. It is yet unknown how a weakened person would respond to the vaccine,” says the immunologist Zuzana Bílková.

Article courtesy of Czech Radio Pardubice
Author: Jitka Slezáková
Czech Radio Pardubice