Every person should have a choice. The healthcare system can perform certain procedures only with patient's consent, Pavel Volchkov, a Russian virologist, geneticist, head of the Genome Engineering Lab, told Report's Russian Service, commenting on the COVID-19 vaccination.
When it comes to freedom in decision-making, I share the WHO's position, which opposes mandatory vaccination against COVID-19. But I understand that for efficiency, it must be massive. It's pretty pointless if certain people get vaccinated, and most don't. All medical systems know that it is necessary to achieve a certain amount of vaccinations to protect a particular region's population. As a virologist, I understand that vaccination is essential. However, I am against the vaccination of people who have already recovered from COVID-19. It is not rational, especially when the vaccine is in short supply. And people must be vaccinated in large numbers in the shortest possible time. The main disadvantage today is the lack of vaccines. It is not a trivial task to establish coronavirus vaccines' production so quickly," Volchkov said.
Commenting on how age affects the body's reaction to a vaccine, the virologist noted that an initial physical examination and checking medical history are extremely important for older people.
"Here you need to understand how ready a person is for the vaccine. The elderly, unfortunately, have chronic illnesses. Their bodies are usually weakened, which is further exacerbated by self-isolation. Therefore, vaccination of the elderly should be done carefully. The situation is the same with children. There must be a large number of trials and observations to vaccinate these groups of people," he added.
According to the virologist, it is essential to vaccinate, first of all, people aged 18 to 60 years who have not yet had a coronavirus.