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Hungary to Initiate Large-Scale Efficacy Study of Vaccines

Tamás Vaski 2021.05.03.

Word has spread about a 12-month study being planned to test the efficacy of all vaccines currently authorized in Hungary. Despite the magnitude of the nation-wide experiment, the government has been relatively silent regarding its details.

The Pécs University Clinical Center shared a publication inviting people to take part in a voluntary 12-month antibody-study of the Sinopharm vaccine.

A 12-Month Volunteer Study of Antibodies

The document shared by the university states that

It is important to have an ever-broadening understanding of vaccines, both regarding their side effects and their impact on the immune system. Therefore, with agreement to the following tests, we are asking for help in creating a more detailed understanding of such immunological effects that vaccines have on us.”

The condition for taking part as a volunteer in the study is for the individual not to be infected with Covid upon their first vaccination.

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The study involves taking samples of native blood and samples of anticoagulated blood from the patient to determine their immune response to the Sinopharm vaccine.

Patients will be monitored for 12 months, with blood samples being taken from them 8 different times. Researchers will inform patients how their immunity develops of the course of the year based on the ongoing results.

According to Mfor, the plan is to measure the efficacy of every vaccine-type in Hungary, with the study’s lead potentially being one of the heads of the National Institute of Oncology.

Not Just Sinopharm, but All Vaccines in Hungary

The government’s Coronavirus Press Center later announced that not just the Chinese vaccine, but all vaccines currently authorized for use in Hungary will be undergoing such studies of efficacy.

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According to the statement, the Medical Research Council and countless other healthcare institutions are initiating programs with which they will analyze the immune responses of people who have healed from the coronavirus.

Virologist Clarifies Two Types of Immunity

Virologist Ferenc Jakab, professor at the University of Pécs, posted on the university’s Facebook page clarifying the possibility that an individual may not appear to have antibodies after vaccination, but this does not mean that they are not immune to the virus.

In the current situation, despite vaccination we can still be infected with the virus (we have seen such examples in every vaccine currently in use), but thanks to inoculation we can avoid the necessity of severe hospital treatment and even the potential for a fatal infection.”

Jakab stated that there are two types of immunity: antibody or humoral immunity, and cellular immunity. He said that an absence of antibodies does not give cause for concern, since that individual likely has cellular immunity, which also protects them from the virus.

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The virologist emphasized that current pandemic restrictions are still especially important since such tests can create a false sense of security. Jakab said, “we should not forget that the vaccine does not protect us from infection, only from severe affliction.”

Featured photo illustration by János Vajda/MTI