National assembly «Protected generation»

Influenza immunization in the light of global trends: advances and prospects.

On 07 October 2019, Moscow hosted a special panel session of the National Assembly «Protected Generation» on improvements of the National Immunization Schedule and vaccine label expansion. The Assembly was a unique venue that united representatives of scientific and medical communities, federal and regional health and state authorities.

The Assembly included a symposium titled «Influenza immunization in the light of global trends: advances and prospects». The scientific panel session was moderated by Acad. Leila S. Namazova-Baranova, Chairwoman of the Executive Committee of the Union of Pediatricians of Russia. The speakers were lead immunization and influenza prevention experts. Each of them presented his/her opinion on the current and future vaccine manufacturing aspects worldwide and population immunization opportunities. All speakers emphasized that adjuvanted vaccines were currently one of the most promising trends.

Vaccine improvements follow the path of searching for new antigen production technologies, innovative vaccine administration techniques, preservative-free formulations, and adjuvant use. Influenza vaccine adjuvants have been shown to boost vaccine immunogenicity. It is especially important for the risk group populations such as young children, immunosuppressed patients, and the elderly.
Dmitry A. Lioznov, Acting Director of Research Institute of Influenza under the MoH
The use of adjuvants has a long history and a large evidence base, emphasized the expert. Most state-of-the-art inactivated vaccines contain adjuvants, e.g., hepatitis B and HPV as well as influenza vaccines. Adjuvants also boast a growing focus in oncology and anti-HIV vaccine development.
Dr. Susanna M. Kharit, Head of Infectious Disease Prevention Department at the Children’s Research and Clinical Center for Infectious Diseases under the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia

According to the expert, efficacy and safety profiles of Azoximer bromide, an adjuvant that has been for many years used in Grippol plus influenza vaccine, have been thoroughly studied. The study data suggests that an Azoximer bromide adjuvanted vaccine is as efficacious with a lower antigen dose as a non-adjuvanted vaccine containing a higher antigen dose, including in the risk groups, and at the same time is characterized by a lower reactogenicity. By way of summing up, the speaker said that one of the main vaccine development trends would engage adjuvants.

Mikhail P. Kostinov, Head of Immunization and Immunotherapy Laboratory at I.I. Mechnikov Research Institute of Vaccines and Sera, presented a recent study on the dendritic cell role in the formation of influenza immunity. The expert noted that adjuvants promoted the formation of specific antibodies in a shorter period as well as had an impact on their quality, i.e. high-affinity antibodies were produced that were responsible for intensive neutralization of the influenza viruses invading the body.

An Azoximer bromide adjuvanted vaccine has apparent advantages relative to cell immunity activation that may be overall important not only in respect of an influenza virus but also in respect of other flu-like infection agents. An adjuvanted vaccine like a split-virion vaccine can form a long-term cell memory. At the same time, a repeated use of an Azoximer bromide adjuvanted vaccine has a much higher memory cell formation potential than subunit and split-virion vaccines, which will undoubtedly be of value in a late epidemic development as well as when last-year or vaccine homologous flu virus strains are circulating.
Mikhail P. Kostinov, Head of Immunization and Immunotherapy Laboratory at I.I. Mechnikov Research Institute of Vaccines and Sera

Ivan V. Konovalov, senior lecturer of the Infectious Children’s Disease Chair at N.I. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University under the MoH, emphasized that adjuvanted influenza vaccines containing Azoximer bromide and reduced flu virus antigen doses, were efficacious and safe in all risk groups. In follows from the studies evaluating preventative efficacy of immunization that Grippol plus decreases influenza and ARVI incidence rates in the immunized children in pre-school childcare setting 8.3x, and that of school children — 6.7x as compared to those not immunized. According to I.V. Konovalov, an adjuvanted influenza vaccine decreases exacerbation rates in patients with chronic cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases: COPD — 2.5x, bronchial asthma — 1.9x, cardiovascular diseases — 1.6x, as well as decreases antibiotics use 3.6x.

More than 700 experts took part in the panel session. Most of them used an ad hoc online platform that provided for live streaming of the events and interaction with the speakers.

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