Expert of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Project “Ask the Doctor” Spoke about New Strains of the COVID-19 Virus and Vaccination

Tatiana Chumachenko, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Head of the Epidemiology Department of Kharkiv National Medical University, became the guest of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s project “Ask a Doctor”.

Answering questions about new strains of COVID-19, the epidemiologist said that now American researchers from the Moderna biocompany are developing vaccines that contain counteraction to two or more mutations of the virus. And on February 4, 2021, global clinical trials began, where they study whether it is possible to do the first and repeated vaccination with drugs from various manufacturers.

– Trials have begun in the UK using different first and second dose intervals and different vaccines. One group – vaccinated first AstraZeneca, and then Pfizer, and the second – first Pfizer, and then AstraZeneca. If there are positive results, the recommendations can also change, – said the epidemiologist.

Tatiana Chumachenko recommended to Ukrainians who plan to participate in vaccinations to choose the most favorable time for the body, when there is no exacerbation of chronic diseases, to normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels and consult a family doctor. And she urged those who have had COVID-19 not to rely on the level of antibodies in the blood and to be vaccinated.

– After an illness, vaccination can be postponed for 6 months. However, you can get vaccinated earlier, there are no contraindications. Because in a viral infection, cellular immunity plays a role first of all, and not antibodies. If you still have antibodies left, the vaccination will only enhance protection, Chumachenko noted.

For Ukrainians who cannot avoid contact, the epidemiologist recommended that they observe quarantine rules and cover their faces. She also told how to choose the right mask.

– An infected person breathes, talks, coughs, sneezes. Together with air, he exhales particles, small nuclei containing the virus. And it settles only in a living cell, so it is looking for a new owner. And it finds it in 3 seconds. Medical masks are more moisture resistant, have several layers, which prevent the penetration of the pathogen. Take reusable ones from the market – they should be easy to breathe, they should be washed and ironed often.

The doctor recalled that at the beginning of the epidemic, a dangerous virus entered Ukraine from Europe with travelers. A new “British” strain is also “imported” into the country. Therefore, she urged to be careful when traveling abroad and contact with strangers.

Epidemiologist Tatiana Chumachenko is the nineteenth expert in the cycle of online broadcasts about COVID-19, organized by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation and the Ukraine TV channel. Earlier, the questions of the audience of the project “Ask the Doctor” were answered by a cardiac surgeon, director of the Heart Institute, Professor Boris Todurov; the popular pediatrician of the country Yevgeny Komarovsky; Alexander Zaika, immunologist of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health; President of the Association of Anesthesiologists of Ukraine Sergey Dubrov and other leading specialists.

More than 4 million people have already become viewers of the project. The videos can be seen on the pages of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation on Facebook and YouTube. “Ask the Doctor” is being implemented within the framework of the “Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine” project. It is the largest, most systematic and ambitious private initiative aimed at helping public health facilities in the fight against coronavirus. Within the framework of the project, more than 200 thousand units of personal protective equipment and consumables, 337 thousand express tests and more than 200 state-of-the-art ALVs have already been transferred.