Speaking to Londra Gazete MBE Dr Teoman Sırrı answered questions many people may have in regards to the difference in Covid-19 vaccines as well as warning the community they still need to proceed with caution saying to ‘continue as if there is no vaccine available’.
The vaccination campaign launched across the UK in early December has now seen over 4 million doses administered, this week the government has announced that the over 70s will now start receiving invitations for the covid-19 vaccines, as the UK government aims to have 15 million doses given by mid-February.
Making clear that even with the vaccines now available, this doesn’t mean covid measures should be relaxed: ‘‘First of all, you cannot get rid of the virus by getting vaccinated, you should continue to be protected. Since last March, I warned that you should take this pandemic seriously, but do not panic. No vaccine is 100% effective, so you cannot say, “I had the vaccine, and I’ll never catch the virus”. According to the recommendations made by experts, those who are given the vaccine in the UK, should still not have close contact their children or grandchildren or have them in their homes for precautionary purposes.”
Dr Sırrı looks at how four of the vaccines that are currently being used in the world in preventing the virus: “The effective four vaccines that are currently being used in the world are between 70 and 95 per cent. On the other hand, the mystery remains as to whether vaccines will be effective after the coronavirus mutation…”
Explaining the Oxford vaccine which has been approved in the UK and Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine being used across the world in countries including Turkey and North Cyprus have need formed using the ‘old technology’. Saying: “In the old technology, the inactive virus technique, it is aimed to make the body immune to the disease by injecting the virus that has lost its infectious ability. This technique is currently used in the production of many vaccines such as chickenpox, which are widely used around the world.” He compared this method to the flu jab which is given yearly to the elderly and those with health conditions.
While Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna both approved in the UK and in a number of countries use ‘new technology’ called mRNA which gives instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein” which helps the body produce antibodies to protect against the virus. Dr Sırrı explains they need to be administered under very strict condition, unlike the old technology. “It must be stored in special freezers in extreme cold conditions such as -70 degrees… It is stated that the Moderna vaccine can be stored for up to six months at -20 degrees, and can last up to 30 days at normal refrigerator temperature. There are logistical challenges to the storage and distribution of these vaccines in poor countries. Even if the vaccines have a high rate of effectiveness, if they are not properly maintained, the vaccines will not be useful.”
Adding that the difference in the old and new technology means that they play and very important role in which one is able to be distributed worldwide and used correctly saying “ The Oxford or Sinovac vaccine has an important advantage in terms of storage and transportation: It can be stored at normal refrigerator temperature. This is important, especially in countries with poor cold chain or infrastructure.”
Dr Sırrı recommended that people with serve allergies consult with their doctors before getting Covid vaccine.
Finally adding ‘Whether you are vaccinated or have already been infected with this virus, do not let go of the precautions. Unfortunately, some of our community members have not taken the pandemic seriously from the beginning and still do not. Following the rules is vital to our health.”