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Coronavirus in Poland. “Time for a local lockdown,” says virologist Prof. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska

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The simulations are very unfavorable for the whole of Poland. It’s high time for a local lockdown. At the end of November, we can have up to 40,000 infections a day in the country – says virologist Prof. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska from the Department of Virology and Immunology at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin.

The Ministry of Health announced on Sunday about 12,493 new cases of coronavirus infection SARS-CoV-2. The ministry also said that 24 people suffering from COVID-19 have died. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,104,220 infections have been confirmed in Poland, a total of 77,757 people have died due to the coronavirus.

Prof. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska from the Department of Virology and Immunology at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin emphasizes that regional limitations related to the epidemic should be considered beforehand in order to prevent the increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections. – In my opinion, it is high time for a local lockdown. This is inevitable, because suddenly the infections will not disappear. The simulations are very unfavorable for the whole of Poland. With the R coefficient of 1.6 in some regions of Poland, at the end of November even more than 40,000 infections a day are possible in Poland – said the virologist.

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Virologist: there will be nowhere to put the sick

In her opinion, it would be advisable to be safe and introduce at least local restrictions, for example in municipalities where vaccination is the lowest or where it is highly contagious. – However, the bed base is shrinking, for example, on November 5, 82 percent of beds and 79 percent of respirators were occupied in the Lublin region, and with such epidemic forecasts, there will be nowhere to put the sick. Not to mention the need to provide staff for the treatment and care of the sick – pointed out prof. Szuster-Ciesielska.

She emphasized that the simulation of the number of daily infections, assuming the stability of the current R coefficients for the provinces, shows that the Lublin region will not be still in the lead.

– Infections will spread all over Poland. The largest number of infections is to be in the Mazowieckie, Śląskie and Łódzkie voivodships. The virus will look for vulnerable people. The unevenness of vaccinations in the country is also worrying – noted the virologist.

A question about Moderna

Prof. Szuster-Ciesielska referred to the reports which show that young people are currently interested in vaccination with Moderna. As she explained, this is due to the better immune parameters of this preparation.

– Moderna gives a higher level of protection and fewer complications. It has a higher dose of mRNA – 100 micrograms, and in the case of Pfizer it is 30 micrograms. Hence, after vaccination with Moderna, more S spike protein will be produced, which may have an impact on a more effective immune response of the body, the virologist specified.

Virologist on the third dose of vaccine

It also referred to the effectiveness of the Pfizer booster dose based on previous COVID-19 vaccines. – Mixing vaccines – especially in the scenario: vectored first (for example AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson) and then genetic (for example Pfizer) – gives a higher level of immunity than giving a vaccine from the same manufacturer, the professor emphasized.

She also pointed out that in our population there are up to 5 percent of people who do not respond properly to COVID-19 immunization at all. – These are the so-called non-responders who, although fully healthy, do not respond effectively to the vaccine. This percentage is much higher – up to 46 percent – in people at risk, for example with cancer or after transplantation. Unfortunately, the risk of dying from COVID-19 increases by more than 30 percent – pointed out prof. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska.

Main photo source: Leszek Szymański / PAP



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