Antonijevic: More than 13,000 people from Kosovo Serb areas have been revaccinated

The epidemiological situation in the Kosovo Serb communities has significantly improved compared to February, when North Mitrovica Hospital Center was filled to capacity – Aleksandar Antonijevic, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Institute in North Mitrovica, said in an interview with KoSSev. Compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines is at an appropriate level, but the immunization of the population also improved the epidemiological situation, Antonijevic also said.

According to data from last week, there are more than 15,000 people from Kosovo Serb areas who have received the first dose at one of three vaccination centres, while more than 13,000 have been revaccinated.

Without the vaccine, the process would drag on indefinitely, claims Antonijevic, adding that the „light at the end of the tunnel“ can be seen thanks to the well-organized process of immunization in Serbia. He warns, however, that „one should be careful when returning to normal“.

Although claiming that life will return to normal, he believes that immunization will have to be regularly carried out in the coming years – similar to the seasonal flu. We will have to learn to live with coronavirus. Corona will always be there, it will not go away, Antonijevic also said.

Now it’s time to test the vaccine on a larger number of samples, in order to determine how effective each vaccine is, he adds.

“At the moment, there is only speculation as to how long the immunity will last, although the immunologists I am in contact with, who monitor the situation after vaccination, and state that most vaccines will last from six months to a year,” Antonijevic pointed out, adding that according to some predictions the Chinese vaccine is expected to provide up to two years of immunity.

„The essence is that, in my opinion, the vaccine will have to be regularly administered once or twice a year, we will have to vaccinate endangered categories of the population in the years to come,“ Antonijevic added.

On the other hand, this epidemiologist underlined that the healthy part of the population will not have to be vaccinated because, as he adds, we have all obtained some kind of immunity – whether through a vaccine, contact, or infection.

In an interview with KoSSev, Antonijevic also spoke about the announcement of the start of production of Russian and Chinese vaccines in Serbia, the work of health institutions in Kosovo Serb communities, the challenges that health workers faced in the previous period, as well as the work of the PCR laboratory in North Mitrovica. You can watch the entire interview in the video above.

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