Minister Loncar: It's possible we'll be receiving Covid vaccine once a year
Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar points out that a large number of countries, primarily vaccine manufacturers, are conducting tests concerning the immune response to the vaccine, and in that way the need for a third dose
Currently available trials conducted in the countries where the largest number of people have been vaccinated indicate that there are two possible models for receiving the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar said today.
When asked by Tanjug how and when the third dose will be administered, Loncar explained that, regarding what the trials have shown the third dose will be given from nine to 12 months after the second dose, or two doses will be received again after a year.
The minister points out that a large number of countries, primarily vaccine manufacturers, are conducting tests concerning the immune response to the vaccine, and in that way the need for a third dose.
"These are not definitive results, these trials take time to see the immune response and antibodies, and when the time is right for the next dose. I think that we are moving towards it being like the seasonal flu vaccine, when it will have to be received at least once a year," Loncar stressed.
He said that victory over the pandemic will come when a sufficient number of people have been vaccinated, and that everything depends on the speed of immunization.
When asked how realistic it is to expect a new wave in the fall, Loncar said that we should not speculate and relax during the summer because, as he says, coronavirus has taught us that it is unpredictable.
"We have to understand that coronavirus behaves as we allow it to, and depending on how much space we leave for it to expand. The most important thing is that if as many people as possible people get vaccinated as soon as possible, then we will deal the virus a blow so that it is not transmitted and has no room to mutate, creating new strains and problems," the minister explained.
Asked whether experts in Serbia are also doing research regarding the effectiveness of the vaccines, Loncar said that in our country, in accordance with the capacities and possibilities, all tests related to vaccines that are available are being done.
"There are departments at the Faculty of Medicine, the Institute of Public Health, and some other institutions that deal with it. We, as a serious country with top scientists, have invested in those departments, people and institutes, and now it has been proven that we were right, because thanks to them, we will have Serbian research results," he said.
He added that Serbia cannot come out with the results before the countries that produced the vaccines, but stressed that, regardless of their analyses, Serbia will carry out its own complete study.
"We will trust all trials based on professional evidence and facts, but we are also doing our own research and I think that this is a responsible policy of the state," Loncar stressed.
The minister said that Serbian scientists are recognized all over the world, and that they participate in the global research related to the pandemic, and pointed out that Europe is counting on the analyses done in Serbia.
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