Author`s name Lyuba Lulko

Gamaleya Center virologist: There is no link between cancer and vaccination

LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky managed to get revaccinated. For the first time, the politician chose Sputnik V; for the repeated procedure, he opted for CoviVac. As Zhirinovsky explained, "the level of antibodies is gradually decreasing, I wanted to strengthen the defense of my body."

Mass vaccination against coronavirus, which is now taking place in all countries, including Russia, still raises a huge number of questions. This is not surprising, given the fact that the coronavirus infection with which we are dealing has not been thoroughly studied yet, and the vaccines for it have not gone through all the required stages of clinical trials.

Pravda.R asked most burning questions related to the topic of vaccination to Professor of Virology, Chief Researcher at the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology Anatoly Alshtein.

"Do I need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 if I, for example, has had the disease? It is believed that human cells remember the virus and thus the cellular immunity preserves, and human cells start producing antibodies even if the tigers are low? Nevertheless, they promote vaccination even for those who have already recovered from COVID-19."

"If you have had the coronavirus disease, you do not need to be revaccinated. you need to wait for about six months before revaccination."

"Is there any scientific background for this? Or is just a guess?"

"There are other coronavirus infections, not only COVID. We know that light infections do not cause persistent immunity. They can reoccur too without causing much harm to a person. Therefore, we do not vaccinate people against such infections. Yet, we know that immunity from coronavirus infections may not be very stable. In the case of COVID, changes in surface protein play an important role. They require vaccination and repeated vaccination too."

Is there a link between cancer and vaccine?

"I read somewhere that adenovirus is a virus that causes cancer. Cancer is a natural side effect that may occur after vaccination with the adenovirus. How true is that?"

"I can say for sure that a lot of studies have been conducted into the problem, this issue has been studied for a long time. There was no connection found between tumors in humans and adenoviruses. In newborn rodents, the adenovirus may indeed cause a tumor. But a human being and a newborn rodent are different biological systems…."

"How does the ingestion of the coronavirus gene affect the cell? What will happen to the membrane, into which a foreign gene is introduced to secrete protein through RNA?"

"Nothing terrible happens to the cell. In the worst case, this cell will die. It's not frightening, because we have trillions of them in our bodies. We can lose 100 million of those cells, and nothing terrible will happen either. You may ask whether this cell may turn into a cancerous cell? the answer to that is negative — it can not."

"Many people fear that the COVID vaccination will somehow affect their reproductive function."

"I will reassure everyone who is worried about this: the issue has been studied in detail. It will not affect reproductive function. This kind of research, of course, is underway."

"Are autoimmune diseases a contraindication to vaccination?"

"A definite contraindication is increased body temperature on the day of vaccination. If a person is sick, has a fever, or does not feel well — he or she should not be vaccinated. This is a general contraindication.

"As for severe autoimmune diseases — yes, they can be a contraindication, but not always. In most cases, when a person is healthy, but has latent diseases — everyone has latent diseases — this is not a contraindication, as a rule. If you have big doubts, then you need to consult your doctor."

"How does one prepare for vaccination? Many people get tested for platelets, because they believe that thrombosis could be a side effect."

"There is no need to prepare for vaccination. One only needs to see how one feels. If you feel healthy, you can go and get vaccinated. If a person has cancer, they can be immunized too. Yet, if a person undergoes cytostatic therapy, then immunity will not develop for them, so it makes no sense to get vaccinated. Of course, cancer patients should carefully discuss vaccination issues with their oncologist."

"What do you think of mandatory vaccination?"

"I am a virologist, who is convinced that the mass vaccination of the population is absolutely necessary. Therefore, I support everything that our government is doing in this direction."