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Questions about coronavirus: why are there mutations in some countries?


Dr. Huerta answers the coronavirus questions from our audience, including virus mutations, vaccines, among others.

Should we worry about the New York variant?


(CNN Spanish) - 

The mutations and variants of the new coronavirus continue to generate doubts among our audience.

In this episode, Dr. Elmer Huerta clarifies questions about mutations, vaccines, the spread of covid-19, among others.

You can listen to this episode on Spotify or your favorite podcast platform or read the transcript below.

Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily dose of information about the new coronavirus, information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.

Today we will answer some questions that we have been asked on our Twitter account @DrHuerta.

Questions about coronavirus mutations

@drhuerta Why virus mutations occur in one country and not in others.

What causes it?


- Juan De Abreu (@deabreujuan) February 24, 2021

Excellent question, Juan.

In reality, mutations are occurring every time the virus replicates upon infecting a person.

In accordance with this, it is possible that those geographical areas where many infections occur have their own variants.

The problem, Juan, is that not all countries are investing in genomic surveillance, that is, in genomic analysis or sequencing of the virus, so the variants cannot be detected.

Questions about the coronavirus vaccine

Can a person with COVID get the vaccine?

- Jaime (@ jaimeg0813) February 25, 2021

Hi Jamie.

It's a very good question.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, people who have already had COVID-19 can be vaccinated immediately after having exceeded 14 days of quarantine.

But if you mean that the vaccine can be administered to a person WITH covid-19, as a kind of treatment, I say no.

To do this, drugs called monoclonal antibodies are used, which are concentrates of specific antibodies against the virus.

Remember that the vaccine awakens the defense system of the person who receives it, taking approximately two weeks to produce antibodies.

@drhuerta Hello Dr, my mother is 91 years old, can we give her any of the vaccines against COVID?

Thanks and greetings from Guadalajara!

- jose luis (@jluigiig) February 24, 2021

Hello Jose.

If she is in good physical health, she can receive any type of vaccine.

Remember that the first woman to get vaccinated in the UK, Margaret Keenan, was precisely 90 years old at the time of the first dose and would turn 91 the following week.

@drhuerta good night, supposedly, today they gave me the vaccine against Covid, however I had doubts, if they gave me the vaccine or they gave me water, or serum?

Is there any way that I can know with some blood test and know if they gave me the vaccine?

- CECILIA ANGULO (@ CECILIA13141668) February 24, 2021

Hello cecilia.

By vaccinating a person, they produce large amounts of a type of neutralizing antibody directed against the spike protein of the new coronavirus.

This is the same test that is done on people vaccinated in phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials of vaccines.

@drhuerta A woman in Brazil was infected with Covid19 after being vaccinated, I have the doubt;

the% effectiveness (80% for example) of the vaccines refers to: a vaccinated person is 80% protected ?, 80% of those vaccinated are protected?

or the probability that it protects me is 80%?

- wilmer otiniano (@DisidenteFiel) February 23, 2021

Hi Wilmer.

Very good question.

No, that reasoning is not correct.

Let us remember that the efficacy is the result of a phase 3 study, and therefore, that number -80% - indicates the protection given by the vaccine, compared to a placebo and does not indicate the level of protection of the vaccine itself. .

The Chinese vaccines are only valid for Chinese strains ????

I mean, the sinofarm vaccines no longer work.

Why keep buying Chinese vaccines?

- Cesar Espinoza (@crespinozac) February 22, 2021

Very good question, Caesar, but I tell you that the virus called SARS CoV2 is only one and despite the fact that variants may exist in certain countries, vaccines - so far - are active against all variants.

@drhuerta hello dr.

We saw in cnn very interesting, and I wanted to know if by applying the spunit V vaccine there are possibilities of infecting another person?

Thanks a lot

- Eduardo C Barragan (@ Eduard56C) February 21, 2021

Good question, Eduardo.

Remember that none of the vaccines contains the full active or contagious virus.

Therefore, neither Sputnik V, nor any other, can cause the disease.

Questions about the vaccine and other diseases

@drhuerta Greetings from the Dominican Republic, I would like to know if you have any knowledge about the affectation of covid-19 to people with Leukopenia and / or Autoimmune Neutropenia, and in another aspect which vaccine you recommend for people with these conditions.

- Eduardo J. Ramirez D (@eduardorbike) February 24, 2021

Hi Eduardo, good question.

Let us remember - for our listeners - that neutropenia means that a type of white blood cells, called neutrophils or granulocytes (which are responsible for devouring microbes) are greatly diminished.

I would not see any problem in vaccinating because it is another type of white blood cells - lymphocytes - that act in the reaction to the vaccine, but that is a question that only the doctor who sees the patient can answer.

@drhuerta good evening doctor, my mother will receive the vaccine against covid19 sputnik, but does she take medicine for seizures, any considerable risk?

- JOSEPH PALMA (@ JOSEPHP64044252) February 23, 2021

Hi Joseph.

The treatment your mother is taking is not a contraindication to receiving any vaccine.

I believe you should be vaccinated, although it is always important that you consult with your personal physician.

Dr. Huerta, good morning.

Can a person suffering from Pefigo be vaccinated against Covid-19

- Alexguero (@ Alexguero6) February 24, 2021

Hi Alex.

Pemphigus is a chronic skin disease that is occasionally autoimmune in nature.

Although vaccination is allowed for people suffering from autoimmune disorders, I would ask you to consult with the treating dermatologist to obtain his opinion.

@drhuerta, are there any studies on the effects or restrictions of applying the Sputnik V vaccine in people with kidney problems?

- Eddy_malo (@ Eddy_1711) February 23, 2021

Good question, Eddy.

As far as we know, there is no contraindication for patients with kidney problems to receive some type of vaccine.

However, please consult with the patient's physician for a more accurate opinion.

Questions about blood oxygen saturation and the oximeter


Good afternoon.

One question, what margin of error do common oximeters have.

Of course, the precise ones are those that are available in hospitals.

Thanks !!!

- David Arturo (@ dalm22) February 24, 2021

Good question, David.

That is very difficult to say because it depends on the manufacturer, the quality control of the product, etc.

One way to test if your oximeter is working well is to take the saturation of several healthy people.

If it is above 95% in them, the device is working well.

@drhuerta Good evening, nice to greet you, my question is I was with COVID-19 in August and so far my saturation ranges between 93 and 94, is it good?

- Eduardo Artiga (@artiga_eduardo) February 24, 2021

Hi Eduardo.

You don't tell me how old you are, how high you live, nor do we know how much your baseline saturation level is, that is, the saturation level you had before having COVID-19.

That may be a normal level for you.

I advise you to see your doctor for a full evaluation.

@drhuerta, Dr. Huerta, as I heard on CNN, regarding the pulse oximeter levels that should be between 95 and 100, I live in La Paz Bolivia at an altitude of approximately 3500 m, the reading due to the lack of oxygen is different?

What would it be if you have information.

- (@ gufaza69) February 23, 2021

According to studies done in Peru, saturation at 3,400 meters above sea level is 87 to 95% and at 3,600 meters it is between 84% and 93%.

Other questions about the coronavirus

Does that mean that it is not necessary to disinfect the vegetables?

- Hernan Ceron (@hernanceron) February 25, 2021

Hello, Hernán.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA, for its acronym in English), the possibility of being infected by food or its packaging is minimal, so washing vegetables as you have always done would be enough.

@drhuerta According to reports, the oral route is not a contagion route for covid-19.

Question can it be spread through the skin ???

If the answer is NO, because doctors dress like astronauts if it is not spread by skin.

- Cesar Espinoza (@crespinozac) February 24, 2021

Excellent question, Caesar.

The reason that health personnel wear protective clothing is because they must be protected from thick droplets of secretions and aerosols, which could contaminate their ordinary clothing and lead to infection.

The virus has not been shown to spread through the skin, the digestive tract, or the sexual route.

@drhuerta People who did have COVID, and what months later they test positive for antibodies, can they be vehicles of contagion for others?

- Vancouver (@MiguelSanchez_) February 22, 2021

Hi Miguel, excellent question.

Remember that people who have had COVID-19 make antibodies, which can last in the blood for a few months.

In other words, having antibodies in the blood, months after the infection, indicates that the person already had the infection, not that they have it at that time, and therefore cannot be contagious.

Do you have questions about the coronavirus?

Send me your questions on Twitter, we will try to answer them in our next episodes.

You can find me at @DrHuerta.

If you think this podcast is helpful, help others find it by rating it on your favorite podcast app.

We will be back tomorrow so be sure to subscribe to get the latest episode on your account.

And for the most up-to-date information, you can always head to

Thanks for your attention.

If you have any questions you can send them to Dr. Elmer Huerta via Twitter.

You can also head over to for all episodes of our "Coronavirus: Reality vs. Reality" podcast.



Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-02-26

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