9 questions about revaccination against COVID-19
Who is contraindicated a second vaccine, the level of antibodies should be taken into account, which vaccine to use
Six months have passed for those Tatarstan residents who were one of the first to obediently receive a vaccine against coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Health Care recommends receiving a vaccine once in six months during the periods when the epidemic is on the rise. This period goes on, which means the “pioneers” should do this again. Realnoe Vremya asks nine most frequently asked questions about revaccination, while doctors of the Urban Clinical Hospital No. 16, head of Therapy Unit Natalia Ukhova and epidemiologist Yuliya Kazakova answer them.
- In the current situation when there is still a way to herd immunity and there is a shortage of vaccines for everybody, do health care workers approve of revaccination?
Natalia Ukhova: At this moment, 23% of the population going to our hospital have been vaccinated. Our opinion is that it is necessary to vaccinate those who haven’t yet received the first vaccine. But we have already begun revaccination too. The number of such people is low at the moment, about ten people. However, when they come, we don’t oppose their desire.
- Have you ever seen patients with a high level of antibodies more than six months after COVID-19? And what does it depend on?
Natalia Ukhova: Yes, there can be a high level of antibodies even six months later. But it is unknown at the moment what it depends on. Antibodies in some patients who had a severe case of coronavirus disappear very quickly from the peripheral blood. Some patients who had COVID-19 out of hospital, mildly, and their antibodies level is high and remains high. So everything is individual. The infection is new, so we also see and make certain conclusions for ourselves.
- Is it necessary to wait for six months after vaccination or can one receive a vaccine again earlier if a person wants to raise the level of antibodies?
Natalia Ukhova: One should anyway wait for six months. But there can always be exceptions. A patient who was immunised with the Sputnik V turned to us, and he was not found antibodies after vaccination. In the end we decided to meet him halfway and vaccinate him with the EpiVacCorona.
- According to your observations, what does a reaction to the vaccine depend on and why do some people have a fever, while others feel great?
Natalia Ukhova: Everything is individual. A possible high temperature doesn’t really depend on age. We see this reaction almost in all ages. Some know they have a reaction to any vaccine, including against the flu. In such a case, many plan vaccination on Friday to be able to lie in bed at the weekend.
- What if a woman got pregnant six months after the first vaccine? Will she be recommended to receive a vaccine for the second time? If a person developed a serious diagnosis in six months?
Yuliya Kazakova: Everything will be decided individually, depending on the level of antibodies, chronic diseases and other indicators. At the moment, indeed methodical recommendations were used, and now we can vaccinate pregnant women. But we don’t have vaccinated pregnant women in our hospital. Now we are actively vaccinating the environment of pregnant women, family members so that they aren’t a source of infection.
As for people who fell ill, neither the first nor second vaccine is administered at the peak of the disease. This is done only in remission. If a patient fell sick with cancer, oncologists usually write a recommendation when vaccination is possible. Specialists try to give recommendations in records so that we can go by them. They indicate at times that a patient is on chemo and vaccination is put off and considered in six months. This helps us make decisions.