November 2, 2020: 222 infected with coronavirus Valdagnese, 9 in hospital. November 2, 2021: 9 positive cases, 0 hospitalized. When Mayor Giancarlo Acerbi makes the statements, the Suster room at Palazzo Festari in Valdagno melts in applause, comfort above all, but also hope and confidence in science.
Fidelity to the data remains the main avenue indicated by that cruel and brutal teacher who, for 20 months now, has been at SarsCov2 as defined by Giulio Nardon, one of the organizers of the “Via delle Scienze” that hosted the other evening Alberto Mantovani, immunologist, scientific director of the Humanitas Clinic Italian scientists are the most cited in the international scientific literature.
Science An oncologist by training, and immunologist by emotion, Mantovani—with his group of researchers—has contributed to deciphering some of the basic mechanisms of the immune system, important but so little known, that the scientist called his book “The Secret Orchestra” the next exit. “We don’t know all of its components – explains immunologist Mantovani – but ‘I know I don’t know’, the Socratic proverb is the starting point for the challenge.” So, when a year and a half ago it was understood that something was wrong with Covid deaths, that factors such as viral load, gender, aging and lifestyle were not enough to explain certain dynamics, we looked at the component genes.
research Data related to the genetics of the risk of developing Covid-19 have been compiled. The result was a scientific article with 3,500 authors: “This is to make people understand what the effort has been at the global level to understand the new disease.” Mantovani admits that the path in the search for a cure has been a failure: “Anti-malaria drugs like hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drugs, and anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin have been tried but not successful. Hyperimmune plasma was unsuccessful in almost all trials. But if the failures are accurately documented – he explains – then we learn.”
vaccinations The goal is to give the right treatment to the right patient, at the right time: The best prospects so far come from monoclonal antibodies and cortisone medications. The most effective weapon, at the moment, is a vaccine. Between the two dates mentioned in the opening by the mayor, that’s exactly what happened, the mass vaccination. The result of the research is not speeding up in a few months, as the Volgate No Vax program wants, but the result of at least three hundred years of studies from the first smallpox prevention clinical trial. More specifically, “Pfizer’s vaccine comes from twenty years of cancer research.”
flu vaccine There are certainly some open questions: reactions in highly vulnerable subjects, duration of protection, vaccine combinations, and mucosal immunity. Mantovani agrees to the third dose, “immediately to weaken persons and health personnel”; Giving the Covid and influenza vaccines simultaneously does not cause any problems, as shown in a trial conducted in Bristol.
Long Covid However, there is still little talk, he adds, of Long Covid, that is, of the long-term consequences. Kidney problems, for example, do not appear to depend on the severity of the disease. “The milestones are not well defined yet. This is also why it is so important to vaccinate children between the ages of 12 and 18.” The alarming signs come from the United States, where children now make up 25 percent of the total infected: “EMA could arrive soon—immunologist and scientific director of Humanitas Polyclinic, Mantovani—concludes vaccine approval even from 5 to 12 years old”
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