Vaccine Expert: Schoolchildren Are Virus Super-Spreaders, Resuming In-Person Learning in Bulgaria Is a Mistake

Society » HEALTH | January 27, 2021, Wednesday // 14:44
Bulgaria: Vaccine Expert: Schoolchildren Are Virus Super-Spreaders, Resuming In-Person Learning in Bulgaria Is a Mistake

"All analyses show that school students are the main spreaders of the virus - the so-called "virus super-spreaders, i.e. they form a very small group of people who infect a large number of others. That's because they're asymptomatic and they transmit a lot of viruses," told BNR Dr. Asparuh Iliev, head of a laboratory in Bern who lives in Germany, an expert on vaccine safety.

According to him, the opening of schools in Bulgaria would be a mistake. Dr. Iliev stressed that he does not give an opinion, but cites facts from research and analysis:

"Parents and teachers may disagree, but we have to say that," he said emphatically.

"A lot of people are tired of isolation, but we cannot turn a blind eye on what's happening. ... This virus is not a whim of politicians," he said, clarifying that people have the right to protest, but not to forget the seriousness of the pandemic.

In the words of Dr. Asparuh Iliev, the culture of entertainment and "relaxation in restaurants" is very different from that in many Western countries:

"There is nothing to lie about, restrictive measures in disco clubs and bars can not be observed, maybe only on paper, but in practice everyone knows what the situation is. I have some understanding for malls that they can cope with adequate hygiene measures, but for small restaurants I am absolutely sceptical and I think we should wait another 2-3 weeks with their opening, but obviously the government is under public pressure.“

He was adamant that we could not afford to let the situation get out of hand because the health system would not be able to cope.

Dr. Iliev said that in Switzerland and Germany the measures are very strict because of the so-called British strain of the coronavirus that is much more contagious and much more deadly.

Dr. Asparuh Iliev's prognosis for the implementation of the vaccination plan in Bulgaria was that in the next 5-6 months there will be many more willing to receive vaccine than the available vaccines:

"This is a problem across the EU. The European Commission has failed in negotiating sufficient quantities of vaccines. It has provided insufficient vaccines quantities for EU countries".

In his words, both Pfizer and Modern at the beginning of the negotiations with the EC offered even larger quantities than were ordered.

With regard to the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, Dr Iliev commented that in terms of the quantities that can be provided by its manufacturers, it is "a propaganda rather than a medical instrument":

"The quantities they can provide are more than modest."

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