An approximate percentage of 5-10% of the people vaccinated with both doses against COVID-19 will not respond to the vaccine and could pass away, Dr. Petros Karayiannis, member of the Advisory Scientific Team on COVID-19 and Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), invited to comment on the fact that a number of people who are vaccinated with both doses die after getting sick with COVID-19.
Referring to the increase of COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized, reaching 225 on Sunday, Karayiannis said that this is something worrying but anticipated.
He noted that people who will not respond to the vaccine are more likely to get sick if they are exposed to the virus and some of them to experience serious symptoms. He went on to say that older people who have underlying health problems and do not develop antibodies to COVID-19 after vaccination could die, adding that this depends on the way each human being’s organism functions.
For example, he noted, that as regards the Pfizer vaccine approximately 5% of those vaccinated will not respond to it, while with regard to the AstraZeneca vaccine this percentage could reach 10-12%.
Asked about the hesitation of many people to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Karayiannis said that “we have been making efforts for many days now to reassure people about the vaccine’s usefulness.”
“Proper information and transparency are needed to help people take the right decision. The epidemiological team will hold a teleconference on Tuesday evening and I hope that this issue will be discussed in order to improve the situation,” he added.
As regards Cyprus’ epidemiological outlook, Karayiannis said that the situation is fluid and that no one can determine whether we are on a good track or whether the situation will worsen.
“I hope that the situation will remain stable and will allow us later this month to take some decisions for the Easter period,” he added.
Asked about the possibility for relaxations of the restrictive measures in view of the Easter period, he noted that it is difficult to say beforehand what will be decided.
He said that if the epidemiological outlook improves then there could be some relaxations in general, however if the outlook does not improve there could be some relaxations just for some days.
Asked if the number of people who are vaccinated is satisfying, Karayiannis said that things could be better.
“We are losing time, one to two weeks until someone decides to get vaccinated, and there are delays. If these delays continue, they could be up to one to one and a half month,” he noted, adding that in this way the situation does not improve.
Asked when one should anticipate a serious relaxation of measures, Karayiannis said that they expected this to happen in May and that he hopes that things will not get out of track.
He noted that what is important is not so much the number of COVID-19 cases but the number of patients who are treated in hospitals who were 225 on Sunday, which is the highest number so far.
He said that this is worrying but something that was expected, due to the numbers recorded lately.
“Now that we have 450-500 cases each day people must realize that there will be pressure at some stage,” he added.
Moreover he noted that since many cases concern the COVID-19 British variant this pressure will mostly affect younger people.