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Peak incidence, delta variant features, medical exemption, and fake certificates—the main thing from Kuzin's interview

Chief Sanitary Doctor Iрor Kuzin's interview with RBС-Ukraine. Photo: UNIAN

Chief Sanitary Doctor Iрor Kuzin's interview with RBС-Ukraine. Photo: UNIAN

Deputy Minister of Health—Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Ihor Kuzin spoke about new forecasts of the peak incidence of coronavirus in Ukrainians, the peculiarities of the Delta variant course, and liability for forging COVID certificates in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

When to expect a new peak

According to the Chief Sanitary Doctor, the peak incidence in Ukraine may come as early as October, while in previous forecasts it was November.

Quote"Previously, we really thought that the peak level of burden on the healthcare system would be in November-December this year. Now we see that, according to almost all forecasts, such peak burdens may be earlier," Kuzin noted.

He added that now it is difficult to predict anything specific, since the data changes every day. However, he noted that only vaccination can save the situation.

Quote"Now the Ministry of Health has reduced the administration intervals between two doses of the vaccine as much as possible. This is done to ensure that as many people as possible were covered by vaccinations just before the epidemic rise in the incidence," Kuzin stated.

What distinguishes the delta variant

The Chief Sanitary Doctor emphasized that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is very different from the Alpha strain that was previously spread around the country. According to him, a lot of people who feel traditional cold symptoms may not even guess that they have contracted the delta. Unlike previous strains, this one does not manifest itself by the disappearance of smell or taste. Given this, the population needs to do a laboratory test for coronavirus when the first symptoms of ARVI appear.

Quote"Usually, the coronavirus disease and the delta variant in particular begins as a common acute respiratory viral infection: these are runny nose, weakness, and fever. In vaccinated people, in case of infection, a suppressed subclinical form of the disease is observed that proceeds more easily and without typical symptoms," Kuzin added.

Fake covid certificates

The Chief Sanitary Doctor admitted that there really is a problem with the distribution of fake COVID certificates. He warned doctors that sooner or later all these cases of adding people to the database who were not actually vaccinated would become known. Kuzin added that about 300 criminal proceedings are currently underway.

He also recalled that the Ministry had initiated amendments to the Criminal Code in order to enhance accountability for entering false data into the healthcare system.

What a person with a medical exemption should do

Kuzin said that in fact there are very few contraindications for administering vaccines against coronavirus—in this case, this refers only to "absolute medical contraindications." According to him, there are less than 1% of such people in Ukraine.

He cited cardiovascular diseases as an example. According to Kuzin, diseases that fall into this category are, on the contrary, indications for vaccinations, since people with concomitant diseases are more difficult to tolerate coronavirus disease. The final decision on vaccination must be made by the family doctor.

If a person really has contraindications against vaccinations, he will get an appropriate certificate. For such people, employers should consider alternative work options for the duration of the yellow or red zone restrictions, such as distance working or regular testing.

Provided that a person is admitted to the hospital after the first dose of vaccine, for example with a case of anaphylaxis, they may be provided with a certificate of partial vaccination with a contraindication to its completion. Also, if this happens, the person may be advised to give a second dose of a different type of vaccine. Kuzin emphasized that loss of consciousness during vaccination is not an adverse event after immunization, since it is associated with the person’s psychoemotional state.

Context. Earlier, Kuzin predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic in the world could last from two to five years, depending on how quickly a pan-coronavirus vaccine is created or an effective treatment protocol is developed.

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