Covid vaccine, Garattini: “Obligation is a last resort”

“The obligation by law must be the last resort. In my opinion we must seek as much as possible the path of moral suasion, to convince people that it is not only a personal benefit, but also a proof of solidarity for those who cannot be We have a bit of a moral duty. I see positively the Green pass, even if vaccination and swab every 48 hours are not the same thing and I have never agreed on this. But the important thing is certainly the fact that the pass is an invitation to the vaccine “. To underline this at Salute is Silvio Garattini, president of the IRCCS Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research, who also explains what is now expected from the Government, in view of the resumption of post-summer holiday activities.

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“I expect everything necessary to be done to finally have the school in attendance, because we cannot take this away from the boys – warns Garattini – The Government should be absolutely committed to making all the necessary decisions so that the school can start in a way regular”. Also the obligation to vaccinate? “I repeat, the obligation is always the last resort and I hope that people are convinced. But if there is a need, this will also come”.

The pharmacologist also looks at the first full authorization by a regulatory body, the FDA, of a Covid vaccine (that of Pfizer / BioNTech), calling it “a very important thing. It means that a thorough examination justifies this vaccine not as an emergency one. but as a real preventative form, for the “Sars-CoV-2″ variants that are sensitive. Delta has not messed up the vaccine plans, because the two doses are still active. ”

Does the threshold of herd immunity rise instead? “Difficult to quantify this definition – replies the expert – because it is not said and no one has established that it is 70% or 80%. For certain infectious diseases it is necessary to have 95%. So we do not know. Here too, we assume that naturally as well for Covid the more vaccinated the better, and the closer we get to what we call herd immunity. But no one knows what the quota to reach to have this widespread immunity is “.

And on the hypothesis of an extension to bring the validity of the Green pass to 12 months: “It seems that there are studies” to support it. “I saw an article claiming vaccines last at least 11 months” in terms of protection. “This would justify the fact of reaching the 12 months” duration of the Green pass. “At the moment this seems to me to be a proposal. Let’s see a bit on which scientific basis it would rest. It is important that it has a scientific basis, because otherwise it is useless to pretend to be protected if you are not. We have to see what the evidence is. scientific: there is something that tells us that there is protection, how much it is to be seen. Also because we cannot rely only on antibodies, we must also see the other aspects of immunity, which are the duration of memory and activity. cells that act against viruses “, Garattini observes.

The 92-year-old scientist is among the first vaccinated in Italy, so he too has an expiring pass in his pocket. Like so many sanitary ware. While waiting for the CTS to express itself on this issue, the debate is open and also embraces the question of the third dose. “It is certainly justified by some data regarding those who have immunological problems, transplants or with tumors that require immunosuppressive therapy. For them the third dose can be useful because we know that the answer is very partial. For the elderly, however, it always depends. from what we know about the duration of the vaccine – explains Garattini – if it lasts 12 months there is no need to do the third dose at least immediately “.

“So let’s wait for the data. In the meantime, I think it is right to do it to these groups of people who have an incomplete response to the vaccine, for the rest we wait”.

Here too, concludes the expert, “it is good to have scientific data to justify” a recall plan for the population, “because it is clear that industries are certainly interested in the third dose, but it must be seen if it is needed. We need to know how there are things and when we know how long the vaccines last we will see if it is necessary to do the third dose. But all this on the basis of scientific data and not of impressions “.


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