At 12.00 pm on 21 September 2012, a round-table discussion entitled “Do We Need Preventive Vaccination?” was held at the ITAR-TASS press centre (Saint Petersburg).
“In the epidemic season of 2012–2013, c. 14 million doses of Grippol® Plus flu vaccine will be supplied to the Russian regions, to be used for children’s National Preventive Vaccination. Starting this year, the Russian Ministry of Healthcare expanded the Grippol® Plus indications to include infants aged 6 months and up,” said First Deputy General Director of NPO Petrovax Pharm Natalia Puchkova today, at the round table in the regional information centre of ITAR-TASS.
This year NPO Petrovax Pharm started supplying the vaccine back in August, ahead of the season, Ms Puchkova added. As of today, c. 5 million doses have been delivered to the regions. The rest of the vaccine is to be supplied by the end of November. “The vaccine can fight the latest flu strains, since it contains their purified antigens,” assured Ms Puchkova.
According to epidemiologists, this September will see increasing incidence of acute respiratory diseases. The mass flu vaccination programme is scheduled to start in late October, said Oleg Parkov, MD, Board-Certified Epidemiologist of S.P. Botkin Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital (Saint Petersburg).
Statistically, only 25–27% of Saint Petersburg residents get annual flu shots. The round table participants encouraged children and adults alike not to skip vaccination, since this year’s epidemic is expected to be more intense than the previous one. The World Health Organisation experts point out that two new strains of the flu virus will add to its strength — B/Wisconsin/1/2010 (the Yamagata lineage) and A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2).
Pursuant to Federal Law “On immunoprophylaxis of Infectious Diseases”, vaccination within the National Preventive Vaccination programme is free of charge for both adults and children. The programme includes flu, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, haemophilus influenzae, poliomyelitis, measles, rubella, and epidemic parotitis vaccination. Epidemic prevention vaccination also includes free vaccines against plague, brucellosis, tularemia, anthrax, hydrophobia, leptospirosis, tick-borne encephalitis, Q fever, amarillosis, viral hepatitis A, cholera, typhoid fever, and shigelloses.