By: Sara Bertoncelj /Nova24tv
“In autumn at the latest, we will, in all probability, be able to record the most tragic deaths due to covid-19: the deaths that could have easily been avoided – with vaccination. The vast majority of the dead will be those who are not vaccinated. And some people will die because others did not get vaccinated,” warned the Medical Director of the Neurology Clinic in the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Dr. Simon Podnar, who compared the mentality of many people who do not want to get vaccinated against the coronavirus with the mentality of those who break the rules of traffic and expect not to get caught. But the fact is that people who break the rules of traffic pay for their wrongdoing themselves, while unfortunately, we all have to pay the price for insufficient vaccination rates.
“Vaccination significantly reduces the likelihood of infection. And with that, you also reduce the likelihood that you yourself are contagious and are spreading the infection. This means that your contacts have a lower chance of becoming infected. So, you are protecting not only yourself but also the people around you. That should be clear enough,” explains Dr. Žiga Zaplotnik from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, who also worked on the epidemic model. Zaplotnik explained a while ago that an epidemic is a phenomenon in which the problem shows itself with a delay. When the number of infections increases, it is usually already too late for certain measures.
The rest of the experts also warn that the too-low vaccination rates will lead to completely unnecessary deaths in autumn. Some believe that a more severe course of illness or even death is a personal decision of each individual who can choose to not get vaccinated. But that is not entirely true – the fact is that covid wards in hospitals are mostly filled with unvaccinated people. And once those wards are full, the rest of the wards will have to be turned into covid wards as well – which means that many who will need medical attention due to other illnesses will not get to it in time. It should also be pointed out that certain people, due to medical reasons, cannot or should not be vaccinated. Someone who has not been vaccinated and is infected can also transmit the infection to these people, and their risk of a more severe course of illness or even death is significantly higher.
At the beginning of June, we reached the peak in the number of vaccinations per day in Slovenia, but since then, this curve has slowly been declining. At the moment, 38 percent of the population has been vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine, and 43 percent of the population has been vaccinated with one dose. Unfortunately, as the number of infections began to decline, the interest in vaccination itself also began to decline. The age group of up to 45 is currently relatively poorly vaccinated, the head of the expert group, dr. Mateja Logar said. In some countries, the fourth wave of the epidemic is already in full swing, and it has become clear that it is mostly the people who are not vaccinated that are mostly affected.
“In recent days, people under the age of 50, without any additional diseases, unvaccinated, have been coming to the hospitals. There is no one among the currently hospitalised patients who is fully vaccinated,” Logar told Radio Ognjišče, adding: “The Delta variant is significantly more contagious than the Alpha variant. We all know that the spread of the virus needs to be stopped, but for that, 80 percent of the population must be vaccinated.” The visual presentation shared by Prime Minister Janez Janša in a post on Twitter also clearly shows that there are currently only 100 symptomatic infections and one death per 102 thousand vaccinated people, while among the same number of unvaccinated people, well over a thousand people were hospitalised, and as many as 417 people died.
Logar further explained that general side effects after vaccination, such as pain, redness and swelling near the vaccinated area, and short-term nausea, are slightly more common in mRNA vaccines compared to the vector vaccines. When it comes to vector vaccines, especially AstraZeneca, in rare cases, it can occur that the number of platelets (thrombocytes) in our blood decreases because platelet aggregates are formed, which cause blockage of blood vessels – thrombosis. This needs to be addressed, but we also need to be aware that this side effect is relatively rare. This phenomenon occurred with the frequency of about 4 to 6 per 100 thousand vaccinations. If we look at the entire population, this is even rarer – one in 100 thousand. For comparison, we can add here that blood clots occur in 165 thousand cases per million infections with covid, which is a significantly higher percentage than the vaccine.