Prepare for Strains in Summer: New Flu Coming to COVID-19 in Fall

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The release of the coronavirus vaccine may begin in September this year. At the same time, the authorities must be completely confident in its safety – only on this basis will a decision be made on vaccination of the population, Vladimir Putin said at a meeting on the sanitary and epidemiological situation. At the same time, in the fall, seasonal SARS will be added to COVID-19, and after that, completely new strains of influenza, from which Russians have not yet been vaccinated, said the head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova. According to the experts interviewed by Izvestia, vaccination against influenza should be started as early as possible – preferably already in August, in order to avoid double infections as much as possible.

“Swing in any direction”

In the summer months, the number of COVID-19 infections in Russia is gradually decreasing, and the number of new cases detected is now almost two times lower than during the peak period in May, Vladimir Putin said at the beginning of the meeting. Nevertheless, the situation remains difficult and the situation can swing in any direction, the president said. Especially do not relax on the eve of the autumn-winter period.

– This is the time when all over the world, including in Russia, taking into account its natural and climatic characteristics, the growth of colds, flu, so-called acute respiratory viral infections is traditionally noted. In addition, according to experts, the situation with the spread of coronavirus may also worsen, the head of state said.

coronavirus vaccine

Photo: RIA Novosti / Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Everything must be done to try to avoid the re-introduction of the restriction regime through preventive, proactive measures, he added.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, the daily increase in coronavirus cases has been 0.7% for a number of days. Thus, the number of people infected is now growing 10 times slower than in May, said the head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova. She added that the department continues to assess population immunity to the new coronavirus infection. More than 26 thousand people have already been examined and it can be said with confidence that in 10 regions the security is from 17% to 28%, Anna Popova emphasized. In particular, the situation in the capital has noticeably stabilized, which has turned out to be at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19.

– If we take the period from the peak of the incidence, in Moscow the number of newly detected COVID diseases has decreased 10 times. You remember, the situation was when we detected 6.5 thousand, today we are walking in the corridor about 650 cases, plus or minus 50. This period is already long, about a month, – said the mayor of the capital Sergei Sobyanin, stressing that the ban on holding public events in the city is likely to last until the end of August.

The meeting also discussed the future of the coronavirus vaccine. So, in August of this year, it is planned to register the vaccine developed by the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after N.F. Gamalei of the Ministry of Health together with the 48th Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. It is assumed that the launch into industrial production will take place in September, explained Tatiana Golikova.

Another vaccine was developed by the State Scientific Center “Vector” of Rospotrebnadzor. Completion of her clinical trials, as well as state registration, is scheduled for September. The first batch should be produced in October. Vladimir Putin drew the attention of the interlocutors to the importance of vaccine safety. According to him, it is necessary to act very carefully and carefully, observing all requirements and rules.

– Confidence in the vaccine must be absolute. It is from this that we will proceed when making further decisions on vaccination against coronavirus, ” Vladimir Putin explained.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova

Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova

Photo: Izvestia / Zurab Javakhadze

The situation in Russia is improving, although in many other countries the coronavirus infection is gaining momentum, for example, in the United States and Brazil. However, it still cannot be said that we have defeated the pandemic. therefore The most effective remedy against coronavirus is, of course, mass vaccination, said Vladimir Krugly, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, Honored Doctor of Russia, in an interview with Izvestia.

– This will lead to the interruption of the epidemiological chains of infection and a decrease in the number of newly detected cases. Perhaps the all-Russian vaccination will take place during the fall or in the first month of winter. This would be comparable to a flu vaccination, – suggested the senator.

According to research by Rospotrebnadzor, coronavirus persists for up to 48 hours on various surfaces, including, for example, stainless steel, linoleum, glass or plastic. However, he is not able to reproduce in sea and fresh water. According to Anna Popova, the virus is not so stable, and the disinfection rules allow you to effectively get rid of it.

As an example, ethyl and isopropyl alcohols, even at a concentration of 30%, are capable of destroying up to a million virus particles in 30 seconds. Chlorine-containing disinfectants have the same effectiveness, which completely disinfect the surface within a few tens of seconds.– explained Anna Popova.

Flu is new too

The Russian health care system continues to be fully prepared. To date, 68 constituent entities of the Russian Federation have already announced their readiness for the autumn-winter period. 14 regions form an irreducible stock of medicines and personal protective equipment. There is still a personnel deficit in five regions, said Tatiana Golikova.

According to Anna Popova, a feature of the upcoming epidemic period will be the combination of the circulation of COVID-19 and seasonal respiratory viruses, and then the flu will join them. In addition, according to forecasts by the World Health Organization, for the first time new strains of influenza will come to the Russian Federation, from which Russians have not previously been vaccinated.

The coming period tells us that it will be people with both the flu and people with the new coronavirus. Of course, it will be impossible to place them together, we need to do everything to avoid nosocomial infection of people. This means that we should talk about an expanded scale of testing, about tests before hospitalization, about effective tests and express tests, which, in fact, is today and we can do today.– said Anna Popova.

In autumn and winter, the frequency of contacts in confined spaces increases, which facilitates the transmission of the virus, noted the assistant professor of the Department of Infectious Diseases in Children of the P. Pirogov of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation Ivan Konovalov.

– The possibility of a repeated increase in the incidence obviously exists. Not everyone in Russia has had a coronavirus infection. Many are still unprotected, and mass vaccinations are unlikely to start this fall. Do not exclude the possibility of re-infection. All over the world today, the pandemic is not fading away, but only gaining momentum, and the opening of borders between countries will again facilitate the transmission of the virus.– Ivan Konovalov explained to Izvestia.

flu vaccination

Photo: Izvestia / Alexey Maishev

According to him, in autumn and winter, people are more likely to get sick with viral respiratory infections, they are forced to go to medical facilities, so there is a risk of nosocomial infection with COVID-19, as it was in the first wave. Polyclinics and hospitals should take this fact into account and think over in advance the principles of admission and routing of persons with signs of acute respiratory viral infections, says Ivan Konovalov.

Taking into account the current situation, at least 60% of the population should receive a flu shot, added Tatiana Golikova. Of those included in the risk group – about 75%, she stressed. For the purchase of vaccines, taking into account the additional funds that the Ministry of Finance intends to allocate, 12.5 billion rubles are provided in the federal budget. The first delivery of vaccines to the regions will begin on August 31, 2020, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

– It is necessary to widely inform people about the importance of vaccinations against influenza and ARVI, inform when and in which medical institution they can be done free of charge, by appointment, preferably without queues, of course. The whole process should be organized as conveniently as possible for citizens, especially elderly people or parents with children, with children, – said Vladimir Putin, stressing that vaccination against influenza is a personal choice and a colossal responsibility of each person.

The President also announced the need to form a supply of medical equipment, antiseptics and masks for the coming period. According to him, accessibility should be 100% throughout the country. In addition, a reserve of specialized beds for the treatment of patients with coronavirus should be maintained in federal and regional medical institutions.

“It is also necessary to provide for the possibility of rapid deployment of such beds from the reserve, including to help patients with complications of influenza and SARS,” the head of state said.

Back in January 2020, Chinese doctors noted that the combination of a new type of coronavirus infection with influenza is more severe, including in children, Ivan Konovalov explained. However it is actually difficult to divide patients with coronavirus and other respiratory infections in medical institutions, says the infectious disease specialist, vaccinologist Yevgeny Timakov.

Theoretically, we can create three bed stocks: in one we put patients with influenza, in the other – with coronavirus, in the third – those in whom we could not immediately determine the disease. It’s physically hard to do – he noted. – The flu has specific symptoms and special tests are used. The presence of the influenza virus can be detected in five minutes. There are no express tests for coronavirus yet. Identification one way or another lasts one or two days. You won’t be able to find out the results in an hour.

Evgeny Timakov clarified that there are already express tests for coronavirus (blood test), but to determine it, the disease must develop for a week. therefore people with different viruses will inevitably end up in the infectious diseases ward. As for the flu vaccination, this year it should be carried out as early as possible, the expert said. Optimally – in August, although it is usually held in September-November. People who have been vaccinated for several years in a row will find themselves in a more advantageous situation – they have higher immunity due to protection against different strains.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin urged to expand the use of modern electronic services and services in healthcare, to increase the practice of remote communication between a doctor and a patient, including through the portal of state services. In addition, he asked the Cabinet of Ministers, together with domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers, to constantly monitor the reliability of the supply of medicines to the domestic market, including drugs for the treatment of coronavirus.

At the same time, a new academic year is not far off. Tatyana Golikova said that it will start in September, if there are no additional risks in certain regions. According to her, disinfection and thermometry will be carried out in all schools, they will be provided with antiseptic agents, and it will also be possible to use personal protective equipment. As for universities, 92% of institutions plan to start the academic year on September 1, the rest – on September 14. If necessary, universities can postpone this period by no more than two months, Tatiana Golikova summed up.

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