Dmitry Lopushov: 'Coronavirus will not go away, it will be among us'

The residents of Tatarstan were told how the immune system is formed and how to increase its protective functions

Dmitry Lopushov: 'Coronavirus will not go away, it will be among us'

March 1 is Day of Immunity in the world. According to the WHO, only 10% of people on Earth have immunity that protects them from all diseases, and 50% of immunity is formed due to the lifestyle that a person leads. Strong immunity is of particular importance today, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The presence of antibodies that are formed in the human body after the disease or after vaccination will help to cope with it. The safest way is vaccination. About what the immune system is, how to enhance its properties, and how to understand that the protective function of the body is weak, said the head of the republican centre of immunisation, chief visiting specialist of the ministry of healthcare of Tatarstan for vaccination Dmitry Lobusov at a briefing on 1 March in Kazan.

Guardian on the body's defenсe

As expert on immunoprophylaxi Dmitry Lopushov noted, opening the meeting, “immunity is the guardian that protects the body from all foreign agents-antigens”. Innate immunity is a feature of a person when the body is immune to certain types of diseases, such as animals get sick with, for example. The main source of this type of immunity is breast milk, provided that the mother has antibodies to a particular disease. The acquired immunity is formed already during the life of a person due to past diseases or after vaccination.

As for antibodies, there are two types: class M — they work for about a month, but they help to produce another class of antibodies — immunoglobulin G, which “lives” in a person for a long time. This principle of antibody formation is characteristic of coronavirus. Two weeks after a person has caught this virus, the first class is produced in the body, gradually replaced by the second class of antibodies, which persists for a long time, and in a number of infections — generally for life, protecting against re-infection.

In Russia, there are three types of vaccines against coronavirus. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Coronavirus will not go away

The presence of antibodies is especially important today in connection with the spread of the new coronavirus infection around the world. The antibodies that appear after the coronavirus or after vaccination can reduce its dangerous impact on humanity. Since there are no effective drugs for the treatment of Covid-19, the head of the Centre for Immunoprophylaxi stressed, and those that are used today by doctors only facilitate the course of the disease.

“The whole world is focused on creating maximum collective immunity in order to forget about the new coronavirus infection forever. It is clear that it will not go anywhere, it will be among us, but such damage that it has brought, will no longer be there," he believes.

According to Lopushov, he was among the first who decided to get vaccinated against Covid-19 back in October, but on the eve of the day on which the vaccination was scheduled, he fell ill with coronavirus: “I suffered from a moderate form of the disease. I have antibodies, in a fairly high concentration, so I don't need to be vaccinated yet.”

The absence of cases of the common flu in the statistics Lopushov associates with “effective fruits of vaccination”. Photo: Maksim Platonov

As it is known, in Russia, there are three types of vaccines against coronavirus infection: genetically engineered Gam-COVID-Vak, or, as it is also called, Sputnik V, protein EpiVacCorona, KoviVak, which is expected soon. The absence of cases of the common flu in the statistics Lopushov associates with “effective fruits of vaccination”:

“Last year, we made a record number of vaccinations — almost 60% of the population, which is more than 2 million people. Today's cases of influenza are isolated, if last year and the year before last at this time it was the peak of the flu epidemic, now the role is played by compliance with the social station, the mask regime and vaccination against influenza, which was carried out last year. We are reaping its benefits today — in a good way.”

Healthy lifestyle — key to strong immunity

At the heart of a strong immune system that can defeat any viruses or bacteria is a healthy diet, enriched with proteins, with a balance of fats and carbohydrates. Of course, this is a healthy lifestyle, not burdened with alcohol, tobacco and other bad habits. The habitat also plays a significant role. A place of residence with an unfavourable environmental situation is unlikely to make a person healthy, Dmitry Lopushov noted.

At the heart of a strong immune system that can hit any viruses or bacteria is a healthy diet. Photo: Maksim Platonov

The frequency of diseases is an indicator that the immune system has given some kind of failure. If, for example, the diagnosis of acute respiratory infections is made almost every month, this is an occasion to contact an immunologist, pass the appropriate tests to determine both humoral and cellular immunity.

Vaccination also affects the formation of immunity to various diseases, says Lopushov. In the Russian calendar, there are 12 vaccinations, in Europe and the United States, there are several more. If there vaccinations against HPV or rotavirus are mandatory and are included in the national calendar, then in our country they are still paid.

By Angelina Panchenko