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Croatian doctors and scientists: Without vaccination, epidemic won’t go away

Without vaccination, epidemic won't go away

ZAGREB, Dec 13 (Hina) – Thirty doctors and scientists said in an open letter on Sunday that without vaccination coronavirus would not go away, stressing that based on strict scientific tests they were confident that all approved vaccines would be effective and safe.

“Based on strict tests that are conducted before a vaccine is approved for use, in line with rigorous rules of the medical and scientific communities and regulatory agencies, we are confident that all approved vaccines against COVID-19 will be efficient and safe and that the risk of any serious side effects will be the smallest possible,” the signatories to the letter, including researcher Ivan Djikic, say.

They warn that without vaccination and without compliance with appropriate epidemiological measures, the current pandemic will not disappear but will last longer and cause additional human and economic losses for Croatian citizens.

“Appropriate vaccination provides protection against infection for individuals and the vaccination of the population can result in herd immunity. For these reasons, as well as due to the lack of more effective therapy, we believe that vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to protect people,” reads the letter.

Risk of serious side effects immeasurably small in relation to risk of COVID-19 complications

The medical professionals and researchers who signed the letter and who work in Croatia and abroad note that coronavirus is dangerous and highly infectious and that the risk of serious side effects of vaccination is immeasurably small in relation to the risk of complications caused by COVID-19 for any age group.

Vaccines against COVID-19 have been developed faster than any other vaccine in the world, they say, noting that they understand the interest of the public in them and related questions.

They stress that their trust in the vaccines is based on results of scientific research and that vaccines to be used in Croatia have been tested and approved in line with the strictest EU safety standards.

Application of vaccines continually controlled by regulatory bodies

Many side effects, such as redness at shot sites, elevated temperature and tiredness, are in fact normal reactions to any vaccine and they are not considered to be more serious side effects, the scientists say.

“To reduce the risk of serious side effects to the lowest possible level, comprehensive and rigorously controlled clinical studies are conducted with thousands of volunteers participating,” they say, noting that after the approval of a vaccine, its application is continually controlled by regulatory bodies to restrict or stop vaccination in the event of serious side effects.

In conclusion of their letter, the scientists say that they unanimously support and recommend the official vaccination programme in Croatia, with its schedule and priorities.

The letter was signed by Ana Barac, Ivan Djikic, Magdalena Grce, Danka Grcevic, Stipan Jonjic, Vanda Juranic Lisnic, Tomislav Kelava, Vladimir Krajinovic, Astrid Krmpotic, Pero Lucin,  Kresimir Luetic, Igor Mezic, Bojan Polic, Iskra Pusic, Kristijan Ramadan, Ivana Novak Nakir, Marija Santini, Vlatko Silobrcic, Mihaela Skobe, Sasa Srica, Ivana Smit, Igor Stagljar, Tihomir Stefanec, Janos Terzic, Andrej Trampuz, Boris Ujevic, Sinisa Volarevic, Domagoj Vucic, Oliver Vugrek  and Felix Wensveen.

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