Today, when COVID-19 is still raging all over the world after a year has passed, vaccination is the only way to permanently overcome it and return to normal life, Azerbaijani therapist Zaur Orujov said.
Orujov told Report about why it is necessary to vaccinate, whether it is necessary to reintroduce any restrictions and how soon Azerbaijan will overcome the coronavirus.
- Why do you think it is necessary to be vaccinated?
- Vaccination in general and vaccination against coronavirus in particular is the only reliable way to fight the epidemic. We already saw in 2018 a wave of measles swept across Europe after anti-vaccination campaigns destroyed the so-called herd immunity. Herd immunity is the number of people who are immune to a disease, a critical mass of which allows the whole society not to get sick.
Therefore, today we need to be actively vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, stop the pandemic, finally get out of quarantine and live life to the fullest.
- Why, in your opinion, is there an urgent need to vaccinate teachers?
- The teacher is an asset of a country. It takes years of study and work experience to be a good teacher, so we simply don’t have the right to lose teachers to the epidemic. Today, it is one of those professions that is most at risk of infection.
On the other hand, teachers communicate with each other, they also contact a huge number of children, parents, so if teachers don’t vaccinate and contract the virus, the school will become a biological reactor, which will accelerate the spread of the epidemic on a large scale. Therefore, I highly recommend that teachers be vaccinated to avoid the risk of getting infected themselves and infecting others.
- Is it necessary to introduce any privileges for vaccinated people to speed up the vaccination process?
- The most important privilege is to be healthy. I really hope that in Azerbaijan certain restrictions will be introduced for unvaccinated people, which in turn will speed up the vaccination process. I believe that without such measures it will be quite difficult to stimulate vaccination, at least because anti-vaccination propaganda is being carried out today, which, in my opinion, has all the signs of extremism and which is sometimes one step ahead of public education by the healthcare system. Therefore, I hope that the government will still introduce certain benefits for vaccinated citizens. Today, the number of new COVID patients per day exceeds 2,000, and if this goes on, certain restrictions will have to be reintroduced in the country, so the vaccinated will definitely have to get certain benefits.
At the same time, human rights must not be infringed upon. That is, we can persistently recommend, explain the importance of vaccination, but no one has the right to decide for a person what to inject into him or her. Therefore, as I said, all that remains is to stimulate society and encourage the vaccinated.
- How soon do you think will we overcome the coronavirus and what role does vaccination play in this matter?
- Vaccination plays a key role in the fight against coronavirus. That’s because the pandemic will end either after a huge number of people get sick and we will lose many of them, because the healthcare system will simply collapse, and people will die from the fact that there are not enough doctors for them, or we will be in quarantine for many more years, or society should be actively vaccinated so that it all ends as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, to date, only about 400,000 people have received the second dose of the vaccine, but this is nothing for herd immunity in a country with a population of 10 million. We can add to them those who have recovered, but as authoritative Western experts say, there is no certainty that a person who has recovered won’t be infected again. Therefore, it is not right to rely on those who have recovered from COVID. For all of us, the only lifeline is herd immunity - at least 70% of the population, achieved through vaccination. So, it is difficult to talk about any timing in this situation.