Alemka Markotic Discusses Measures, Vaccines, Communication With Public

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of August, 2020, a recent guest of Dnevnik N1 television was Alemka Markotic, the director of the ”Dr. Fran Mihaljevic” Clinic for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb. The current situation, measures for the beginning of the school year and the race for the vaccine are some of the topics she discussed.

“Slightly higher numbers are the result of more activity over the summer in this part of the Earth’s hemisphere where everyone relaxed and are travelling, it was obviously easier for the virus to penetrate. It all happens in the open, more or less among the younger population, so for now, at least in Croatia, there are no serious consequences, almost 90 percent of those infected didn’t need to be hospitalised, but that doesn’t mean we should relax and think that everything is solved,” she stated.

”The virus accelerates when we reduce precautions. There has been talk for months about mutations, and research by Professor Cicin-Sain, in which this same clinic for infectious diseases also participated, shows that the virus has point mutations that allow it to be transmitted more easily from person to person,” said Alemka Markotic.

“We’re not in closed spaces, so the dose of the virus people receive is lower, which can also affect their clinical picture, but we should be careful and the disease shouldn’t be transmitted to the elderly, into facilities used by the health system and into nursing homes, that’s what we’re trying to stop from happening all the time,” she explained.

On the question of schools and some of the confusing information that has been circulating, she said: ”We may be late with information to the public, but sometimes it is better to refine everything to make sure it’s all clearer than to run around giving out unfinished information, it’s best that we can do everything two months before, but we saw that cooronavirus is also preparing surprises and that the situation is changing, so when it comes to the instructions, we will have to change and adapt to the situation as it comes. ”

At the moment, the US, China, the UK and Germany are working intensively to find a vaccine. Alemka Markotic analysed how far they had come.

“The advantages for now are that all four vaccines are quite close to coming to the results of the third clinical study, some are at the very beginning, some have a significant number of subjects, all four vaccines haven’t had serious side effects and there is good information on the vaccine’s efficacy, and which can offer efficacy with lower doses,” she explained

As for the Russian vaccine, she says the rules must be followed, but that she cannot say that the vaccine won’t be any good, but all stages of testing, whether for vaccines or for medicine, must absolutely be followed.

Alemka Markotic also pointed out that the policies of these countries will try to take advantage of the invention of vaccines, but as for the scientists and pharmaceutical companies, she said that the competition is great because over 200 companies and scientific institutions want to create a vaccine and it is then “maybe a matter of scientific prestige the first to be able to help people. ”

She doesn’t anticipate higher profits from such moves, except in the case of the mass vaccination of people.

What about anti-vaxxers?

Alemka Markotic also commented on people who doubt the effectiveness of the vaccine. She doesn’t think that a large percentage of people are in question. “There is a percentage of people who think differently, they need to be talked to and I have often talked to them and when arguments are approached and in good faith, people accept it,” she said.

She added that she can see from the data that more and more people are being vaccinated, for example against the flu. She also recalled that after the outbreak of measles, people rushed to get vaccinated against the disease. In addition, she also believes that experts should make an effort to make people understand and contribute further to this, for example, by issuing more clear information on how vaccines are produced to remove conspiracy theories.

For more from Alemka Markotic, follow our lifestyle section.

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