In early October this year, with support of the Tula Region government, Tula initiated the complex programme "Healthy Child". The programme is aimed at lowering the incidence of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections among children. Its main objectives include raising influenza immunisation awareness among children and their parents and improving the quality of training for infectious disease prevention specialists.

The programme’s scope included educational sessions on preventive vaccination for parents of schoolchildren and college students of Tula. Along with flu vaccination informed consent sheets, the parents received pamphlets on flu prevention prepared by specialists from the Scientific Centre of Children’s Health (Russian Academy of Medical Sciences). Posters on influenza and the newest methods of prevention were distributed for display in secondary and higher education facilities.

On 12 October, a regional consultative seminar was held to address the diagnostics and treatment of acute respiratory infections and the immunisation campaign for the 2011–2012 flu season.

The seminar was organised by the Tulsa Health Department, the Tula regional office of the Federal Service on Customers' Rights Protection and Human Well-Being Surveillance, and State-Financed Healthcare Institution "Tula Region Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology". The seminar itself covered issues of prevention, treatment and laboratory diagnostics of influenza, and the organisation of medical assistance for seriously ill patients, including children and pregnant women.

The participants pointed out that the average annual rate of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections in children is 20–30%. Every 250th child (aged 2–5) is hospitalised. 18–40% of the children who have had flu go on to develop complications. This makes vaccination, the only socially and economically feasible method of flu prevention, even more vital. High-coverage flu shots lower the incidence of acute respiratory viral infections by over 40%.

"Since the influenza and acute respiratory viral infections rates in the Tula Region remain non-pandemic, now is the perfect time for preventive vaccination," pointed out Nadezhda Bazhazhina, head of the disease control department of the Tula regional office of the Federal Service on Customers' Rights Protection and Human Well-Being Surveillance.

The results of the clinical trials of the Grippol® Plus vaccine utilised for the childhood immunisation under the National Priority Project “Health” were also presented at the seminar.

The history of Grippol® Plus administration shows that 4.7–6.7 times fewer children develop influenza and acute respiratory viral infections if given the vaccine, but the efficiency of the measures directly correlates to immunisation coverage. Independent expert tests have shown that the vaccine can be used for people with chronic diseases, including children with bronchial asthma and pregnant women.

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