Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The New Vaccine Against the Coronavirus from a Scientific Perspective

The following information was published 
by the Metropolis of Nafpaktos

Vaccination throughout Europe and in our country began on 27 December 2020 and continues. Our Metropolitan [Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou] was among the first to be vaccinated and in fact the first of the Hierarchs and all the Clergy of the Church, after he asked three specialist University professors in Greece and four professors-researchers in American Universities regarding the safety of the vaccine, and after his own study of the scientific texts. He recorded his views on the subject in a text titled "Why I Was Vaccinated", which has been published.

Doctors and nurses are already being vaccinated in the Hospitals of our country and in the next few days the vaccination program will be passed on to the rest of the citizens.

Various reservations are written about this vaccine in terms of its technique and the short time of its appearance. We saw a text on Facebook written by our fellow citizen of Nafpaktos, a Professor of Medicine in America, Mrs. Panagiota Andreopoulou, and we asked her permission to publish it on the website of our Metropolis, to inform all those concerned with this issue, and permission was granted.

1. Brief Biography

Dr. Panagiota Andreopoulou is an Endocrinologist and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Cornell University School of Medicine, New York, USA. She was born and raised in Nafpaktos. She graduated from the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She specializes in Clinical Medicine at Cornell University New York Hospital in New York and in Endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

She is the producer and host of the "Health and Life" show of the Greek public radio "World FM" in New York. (http://cosmosfm.org)

She has been awarded the Archbishop lakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence for her contribution to the Greek community.

2. Her Text on the Vaccine

Just some facts regarding the SARS-Cov-2 vaccines that are based on mRNA use. This is NOT a vaccine that was created within months out of the blue. When scientists started working on this, many of you were not even born and the iPhones you use to post your selfies in social media were science fiction! There is continuity in science and this is the case here too.

Back in 1989 researchers at the Salk Institute used an mRNA vector in a lipid particle as a transfer vehicle. The concept of using these as a vaccine was born in the 1990s and the first basic experiments started in 1995. In 2005 the scientist who is currently in charge of vaccine development at BioNTech in Germany (Dr. Kariko, a Hungarian immigrant back then working at UPenn) and her colleague Dr. Weissman were able to modify the mRNA in order to be successfully translated by the host cells. Moderna was founded in 2010 (and yes the last three letters spell RNA!). The first mRNA vaccines were actually created for MERS and SARS-Cov-1 in clinical trials conducted more than 3 years ago. Moderna has hundreds of patents for mRNA technology to be used in various diseases.

You think creating a vaccine in 9 months is fast? Well it took us 6 months to create the vaccine for H1N1 back in 2009.

This year's vaccines were tested in more than 100,000 people and more than 4 million people have already been vaccinated around the world, with allergic reactions in less than 10 people mostly with a history of anaphylaxis. In the meantime thousands of people are dying every day in the world and many more have serious diseases with long term complications that may even shorten their lifespan.

Our economy and society is in shambles because of this modern plague that has taken us hostage and is controlling our lives.

When your turn comes, get vaccinated. We need all of us. At least 80% need to be vaccinated to achieve the true herd immunity. Just remember that SARS-Cov-2 may cause recurrent infections, and immunity from it is likely not for a lifetime. How long can we live in fear and with restrictions??  Trust the science, the gift of God to humanity.

3. More detailed information

Clinical trials of 64 vaccines against Sars-Cov-2 (coronavirus) are currently underway. Nineteen (19) have reached the final stages of the studies. At least 85 vaccines are in preclinical trials.

Three vaccines have been approved in the West by drug control agencies. Two of these vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/NIH (National Institutes of Health) are based on RNA technology and the third Astra Zeneca/Oxford the technology is based on DNA adenovirus technology.

Many end-stage vaccines are based on the most common synthetic protein vaccination technology similar to the spike which is then recognized as foreign to the cells of our immune system which produce anti-bodies to prevent the development of the disease. In other words, we have the soldiers ready on the ramparts when the enemy invades, instead of trying to recruit them when the walls have already fallen!

Appropriate vaccines use techniques that are more innovative, although they are not new, but have been studied for decades and have even been used to create other vaccines against the less common ones.

For example, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use synthetic mRNA that "translates" our cells into its protein/spike and mobilizes our immune system. This technique has been studied since 1989, with significant development from 2005 onwards. It has already led to the production of vaccines against Sars-Cov1 and MERS, also the more deadly coronaviruses, but fortunately less contagious. Clinical studies of these vaccines were completed more than three years ago.

The Astra Zeneca vaccine uses an artificial adenovirus that cannot multiply, but carries DNA similar to the virus. This is used to make mRNA and is well known! The vaccines for Ebola and Zika are of this technology. The same goes for HIV testing.

The techniques have been studied for decades, they are not new. The H1N1 flu vaccine was developed in 2009 within 6 months.

Coronavirus vaccines are a priority for global public health and the economy, and their development has been funded from the outset with considerable funding in order to speed up the procedures which other countries are slow to complete and are slow to move on. Science today has the potential to move faster than in previous decades, so it makes sense.

These vaccines enable the production of more doses to cover as large a percentage of the population as possible.

Possible side effects of the vaccines are mild symptoms, such as pain at the injection site, myalgias, fevers that last 2-3 days at most. Also rare allergic reactions are easily treatable at the site of vaccination. After decades of using the vaccines, no long-term side effects have been reported. In contrast, infections from various organs carry the risk of death and life-threatening complications (such as measles, pulmonary insufficiency and thrombosis from COVID-19).

It is necessary to reach immunity in at least 80% of the population in order to eliminate the pandemic. To wait is a giftless gift. The vaccines have already been tested on more than 100,000 volunteers and by millions of health professionals worldwide since the day they were approved.


We are happy for the scientific development of one of our compatriots and we thank her for the very important information she gave us.
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.