Vaccination is a popular subject of disinformation. Lay people can be absurd, doctors say

Aneta Nyčová founded and directs the Medici Association for Vaccinations. Together with colleagues from 2nd Medical School and marketing students from FSV UK, they are trying to dispel vaccine myths. In addition, she worked with doctor and now anesthesiologist Ondřej Hubálek at the covidarium for many weeks. In the chat, Aktuálně.cz readers most often faced questions related to doubts about vaccination against covid-19.

At the time of the “most difficult covid”, they say, they were still students of general medicine, now Aneta Nyčová is going to the last sixth year of the 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and Ondřej Hubálek is a recent doctor at the Department of Anaesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Care Motol University Hospital.

Mid-March 2020, in agreement with the dean of the faculty, they set up a Facebook group and an online form where colleagues who wish to get involved in hospital aid can apply. “Immediately, a large number of students started reporting to us. Their enthusiasm for helping was huge, even though no one knew what they were getting into,” explains Ondřej Hubálek. Their help continued during the autumn wave of the pandemic, although it was difficult to combine work in hospitals or collection points with teaching and examinations.

Aneta Nyčová founded and leads the association Medici PRO Vaccination, in which students from the 2nd Faculty of Medicine joined forces with marketing students from the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University, and fight against myths about vaccines and vaccinations, not only against covid-19.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the situation of vaccine denial and the associated decline in vaccine coverage as serious enough to make it one of the top ten global public health threats. This applies also to the Czech Republic”, explain the university students. initiative.

And as they add on their website, their project has not been and is not supported financially or otherwise by the pharmaceutical industry. This is one of the common arguments of the “antivax” movement – that the promotion of vaccination only puts pressure on pharmacists.

Also in an online discussion on the website of the Internet daily Aktuálně.cz, they faced many questions questioning the effectiveness or safety of vaccines against the covid-19 disease. Some respondents reiterated claims from misinformation sources and asked, for example, “about the long-term effects of modifying human DNA through vaccination.” “The viral mRNA molecule has no chance of entering the cell nucleus, it does not even encounter the DNA, and therefore it cannot endanger or alter it in any way,” said explained doctor Aneta Nyčová of the Medici for vaccination.

Other people did not understand why they had to be vaccinated when they live healthy lives and according to them they are not in danger. “It is true that in the event of covid-19, your outlook is better than that of people of the same age who do not take care of themselves as well as you do. However, there is no guarantee that your condition will not be serious If you have the disease. In a unit where we also cared for previously healthy middle-aged people, I would definitely get vaccinated,” said Dr. Ondřej Hubálek, adding that the benefits of vaccination outweigh away on the risks of disease and vaccination. protects against the difficult process.

He also stressed the importance of solidarity with others. “Furthermore, vaccinations protect not only yourself, but also people around you who may not be as young as you anymore, or who have reasons for lowering their immunity other than not taking care of themselves. I think there is now a chance to show solidarity with others which we are certainly capable of as a nation,” he added.

Vaccines transmit up to twenty times less the virus

Many respondents said the reason they did not get vaccinated was that even the vaccinated person can transmit the disease. “Yes, you are correct that even as a vaccinated person you can be a carrier. However, it is necessary – and many people make mistakes – to be aware of the likelihood of transmission. If a person is vaccinated and in contact with an HIV-positive person, the chances of becoming a carrier “So there is twenty times less chance that you transmit the coronavirus”, answered Ondřej Hubálek.

He also noted that until enough of the population is vaccinated to develop herd immunity (estimated to be at least 70% of the population for SARS-CoV-19), further protection of the population will be necessary, including mouth and nose protection.

Readers were also interested in why vaccines are such a popular target for hoaxes. “On the one hand, it’s a question of human health and life – it’s always a strong topic. The vast majority of society does not have enough information about how the human body works, and it is therefore easy to ‘peek’ a hoax,” said Aneta Nyčová. “And a very important thing is also the financial side – the misinformation is beautifully deserved, as shown by some contributions that have circulated on social networks the past few days,” she added.

I don’t understand covid deniers. Millions of paramedics should lie

“I don’t understand people who think that the coronavirus doesn’t exist. I really don’t know what doctors would gain from such a fabrication. Moreover, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of healthcare professionals in the world should be involved in this conspiracy, which is completely unsustainable.” Our colleague Ondřej Hubálek added to this and added his experience of the covidarium.

“The medical staff around me have been used to dying of patients in their intensive care units, but no one has seen so many patients die, despite the maximum care that medicine allows. Moreover, this situation took a very long time and “We all hope something like this doesn’t happen again. Hundreds of patients have passed through our service, which is truly unprecedented for any particular disease.

Aneta Nyčová also shared her experience with public reactions to her Medici for vaccination. “Often it’s reactions with a flood of vulgar words instead of arguments. We’ve gradually learned to rise above it.”

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