Ask the Doctor: Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus, Immunity and Vaccination
The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation and Ukraine TV channel continue their joint special project Ask the Doctor. These are weekly online meetings with leading immunologists, anaesthesiologists, infectious disease experts who tell the audience about the symptoms of the coronavirus, medications that are prescribed to patients with confirmed COVID-19, about the dietary habits of patients, the latest global trends in the treatment of the coronavirus and many other topics. The new guest of the project was Borys Donskoy, an immunologist, a Candidate of Biological Sciences, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine.
‘Ukraine is on the verge of a new wave of the coronavirus, and this issue is of the greatest concern for the Ukrainian society today. Borys Donskoy is the eighteenth expert of the project Ask the Doctor. Earlier, the audience's questions were answered by Borys Todurov, a cardiac surgeon, a professor and the Director of the Heart Institute; by Yevhen Komarovskyi, a popular paediatrician of the country; Oleksandr Zaika, an immunologist of the Public Health Centre of the Ministry of Health; Serhiy Dubrov, an anaesthesiologist; Alla Myronenko, a Doctor of Medical Sciences, the Head of the Department of Respiratory and Other Viral Infections at L.V. Gromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, as well as other leading experts. The online project Ask the Doctor is being implemented within the framework of the program Rinat Akhmetov ‒ Saving Lives. During live broadcasts on the Foundation's Facebook page, leading healthcare experts give answers to viewers' questions on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. More than three and a half million people have watched the project Ask the Doctor, and the interest towards online meetings with the country's leading doctors keeps growing,’ says Yuliia Yershova, Chief Communications Officer of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.
As Borys Donskoy explained, the vaccination against the coronavirus is made in two stages, and there is a likelihood to contract the disease in the interval between the two stages.
‘The manufacturer of the vaccine delivered to Ukraine declares efficient protection only after a patient receives two rounds of injections in a timely manner. Then such a patient becomes immune and the efficient protection the manufacturer refers to is in action. If you make just one injection, then no one will take responsibility, and the likelihood of getting sick will be quite high,’ emphasized Borys Donskoy.
He added that the risk of contracting the disease still remains even after the second injection, albeit not high, but doctors do register such cases.
The expert also answered the question that is very relevant today – about the consequences that CoviShield vaccine, delivered to Ukraine, has for human body.
‘There is no information about this yet, and it is not expected to appear soon. So far, we have used so few doses that there is simply not enough data available. Countries speaking about dozens of cases of thrombosis have made tens of millions of vaccine injections. We should not ignore this, and this issue should be addressed. Although in practice, such a really low number of complications should not arouse suspicion.’
According to Borys Donskoy, the COVID-19 virus is not a unique one in its nature. Everything depends on the body's resistance to the infection.
‘Every person's body shows a different response. Each of us is very much unique and individual. This is where our strength lies – it is impossible to “pick up a key” to a human being. If the human immune system had a clear plan of response to all pathogens, then the latter would immediately win the battle. Fortunately, not a single infection knows the human body's plan of action,’ the doctor said.
At the same time, Borys Donskoy noted that today it is difficult to say how long the coronavirus will be progressing.
‘So far, it is just a fortune telling on coffee grounds. If we believe that no fundamentally new strains of the disease will appear, the ones that will be able to overcome immune protection and re-infect people, then, in my opinion, we will see a significant decline in the disease incidence in the summer. And then, no rise will happen in the autumn. If new strains do appear, then the game will have to start from scratch and the process can be very long,’ the immunologist stressed.
At the same time, Borys Donskoy added that 5 to 7 million doses of vaccine, timely purchased and delivered to Ukraine, could play a major role in the fight against the growing incidence of the disease in the near future.
The online project Ask the Doctor is being implemented within the framework of the program Rinat Akhmetov ‒ Saving Lives. Live broadcasts are available on the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation's Facebook page, as well as on its YouTube channel. During live broadcasts, leading healthcare professionals cast light on the key aspects in the prevention of COVID-19. The program Rinat Akhmetov – Saving Lives is implementing an extremely important project Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine. It is the largest, most systematic and widest scale private initiative aimed at helping public healthcare facilities in the fight against the coronavirus. Within the framework of the project, the Foundation donated to public hospitals more than 200,000 units of personal protective equipment and consumables, 337,000 rapid COVID-19 tests and more than 200 ultra-modern lung ventilators.