Where the vaccination against the coronavirus is as high as in Hungary, there will be no fourth wave, the rector of Semmelweis University said on Kossuth Radio’s Sunday newspaper.
Béla Merkely spoke in the program about the fact that in Hungary we are probably close to achieving herd immunity or have already achieved it, but this does not mean that some people and families who have not vaccinated themselves cannot become infected.
He drew attention to the fact that among those who have not been vaccinated, there can still be serious illnesses, even fatal ones.
He said he expects that
the number of people in hospital continues to decline, and the number of daily deaths drops to single digits as soon as possible, and then the epidemic “completely disappears” over the summer.
Béla Merkely also spoke about the fact that, according to international data, it is enough to give a vaccine to someone who has already had a coronavirus disease. Where there has been a proven infection, the first vaccine is a so-called ‘booster’, he said, emphasizing that someone who has not had the disease needs a second vaccine because it will significantly increase the number of antibody levels and increase cellular immune activity.
So in the words of the expert, who has undergone the disease needs one vaccination, but if someone didn’t who does need two, and then we can be sure that they will no longer be able to develop a significant disease.
To the suggestion that some people – because there is not enough antibody in their body after the second vaccination – would need the third vaccination, Béla Merkely said: the antibody level cannot be accurately measured.
He said a wide variety of antibodies are produced, depending on the conditions of infection and vaccinations, “different types of protection develop,” and these cannot be “compared one by one”. He added that it also matters when the vaccination or infection occurred.
The body develops its protection by temporarily increasing the level of antibodies temporarily immediately after infection or vaccination and then, as it is not needed to produce large amounts of antibodies, this will decrease. But there are memory cells that “remember” how to reproduce the antibody, how to build cellular immunity, as a result of which they can “move immediately” at a second encounter, the response will be maximal immediately and no disease will develop, he explained.
According to Béla Merkely, it is not worthwhile to measure antibody levels in private care, because it is “not suitable for anything”.
Regarding the fourth wave, he said, drug manufacturers are watching to see if there are any virus mutants that “bypass” available vaccines.
“I am sure now that there is no mutant in the world at the moment that would endanger humanity in any way by avoiding the protection achieved with the large amounts of vaccines used in our environment,” said the rector of Semmelweis University.
“Where vaccination is as high as in Hungary, there will be no fourth wave.”
Béla Merkely also spoke about the fact that we can leave the epidemic behind forever if vaccination becomes higher in other countries of the world.
He said a large number of infections could result in viral mutations. He noted that a mutant could be created that is very far from Hungary, and then the possibility of re-infection theoretically exists.
At the same time, the specialist warned those who intended to travel abroad without vaccination that there was a high risk of infection there.