Inventor of flu vaccine: History of Influenza and the Flu Vaccine
History of Influenza and the Flu Vaccine
Influenza dates back approximately 2,400 years.
First mentions of the virus stretch to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. He was first person to accurately describe the virus’s symptoms, which mirrored any other respiratory infection.
As the virus spread, there was a need to name the illness.
The title comes from both the negative influence of astrology and the word “influence” in Italian. In Italian culture, they would attribute illnesses like the cold to an influence from the stars. As medicine progressed over time, the virus was updated to mean, “influence of the cold.”
In 1703, J. Hugger from the University of Edinburgh called the virus influenza. It then shortened to the modern name “the flu.”
The flu virus first came to the United States after Columbus discovered America. Historians believe that the virus spread from Europe when colonists came to America to begin their new lives. Unfortunately, an epidemic broke out in 1493, almost killing an entire tribe of the Antilles people who were native to the region.
Another pandemic broke out in 1580. It began in Russia, spread to Africa, and finally reached Europe. In Rome alone, as many as 8,000 citizens died from the bug.
A pandemic differs from an epidemic in that it covers a vast geographic area, as with this pandemic that was just mentioned.
Historians have confirmed that there were a few pandemics of influenza in the 1600s and the centuries that followed.
The pandemic of 1830 was the most widespread across the European continent, killing about a quarter of the local population.
The worst was yet to come decades later in Spain. In 1918, the country battled the world’s worst pandemic. The Spanish Flu Pandemic didn’t end until the following year, costing tens of millions of lives. The Spanish Flu even made its way to the Arctic and the Pacific Islands.
Not all the deaths were strictly from this deadly case of the flu. Some were the result of misdiagnosis. Symptoms were so severe that the Spanish Flu resembled typhoid and cholera in some cases. About half of the deaths came from pneumonia, a serious complication of the virus. Coming during World War I, many serviceman also caught the Spanish Flu, with thousands dying from complications.
It wasn’t until 23 years later in 1931 that virologist Richard Shope discovered that influenza was caused by the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses. When the public came into contact with these germs, the person caught the flu virus and became ill.
A couple of short years later, scientists discovered three main strands of the virus caused influenza. This breakthrough helped Thomas Francis and Jonas Salk to develop the first vaccine in 1938.
The world was in the midst of another continent-spanning war. Servicemen in World War II received the vaccine as a precautionary measure even though it hadn’t been tested for safety. Still, the medical field felt that the benefit of flu-prevention outweighed the risks.
In the decades since, the flu shot has developed and changed.
Researchers and scientists now gather information about the most common flu strains at the time. The flu shot is then made to protect from these common strains. This is why the vaccine is different every year, changing with the new flu strains.
Modern science also provides for options for the flu shot than ever before.
Instead of one option, there are many vaccines to choose from depending on the person. The intradermal flu shot might be better for those that want a smaller needle, and the high dose vaccine is made for people 65 and older. Even people with an egg allergy can safely take the flu vaccine.
Interested in getting the flu shot for this season? Passport Health can help! The vaccine is available at all Passport Health Travel Clinics. Call us at or book an appointment online now.
Any other questions about the history of flu and the vaccine? Let us know in the comments, or via Facebook and Twitter.
Written for Passport Health by Sabrina Cortes. Sabrina is a freelance writer with a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgian Court University. She currently lives in the Smokey Mountains of western North Carolina.
Influenza | History of Vaccines
Symptoms and Causative Agent
Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. There are two main types of influenza viruses (A and B) but many different strains of each type. The diseases caused by these viruses are often collectively referred to simply as “the flu.”
Illness from influenza can range from mild to very severe depending on several factors, including the viral strain, the patient’s age, and the patient’s health. Certain groups are at higher risk for serious complications from the flu.
Symptoms of the flu tend to emerge suddenly and include fever, chills, coughing, sore throat, achiness, headaches, and fatigue. Vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, but these symptoms are more common for children than for adults.
Influenza is primarily transmitted via infected respiratory droplets – that is, by air, via coughing and sneezing. It’s important to note that some people who are infected will not experience any symptoms (this is known as an asymptomatic infection) but will still be contagious. They can infect others without ever knowing they’re infected themselves. Even patients who experience flu symptoms may be infectious as early as a day before they first feel ill, and for up to a week after.
An important note about influenza’s ability to spread is related to its frequent genetic changes. New strains of influenza viruses appear frequently, and previous infection with a different strain does not guarantee immunity against future infection. This is one reason why the antigens in the seasonal flu vaccine usually change each year—to try to protect against whichever flu strains are currently circulating. (For more information, see “Available Vaccines and Vaccination Campaigns” below.)
Treatment and Care
Generally, flu patients are encouraged to stay home and rest, both to recover and to avoid infecting others. In mild cases, treatment is limited to addressing the symptoms of the disease: over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used to reduce fever and/or relieve aches and pains, and cough medicines or drops may be used for sore throats and to reduce coughing. Drinking extra fluids may be encouraged to prevent dehydration.
For severe cases, or for individuals at high risk for complications, physicians may prescribe antiviral medication. Many circulating influenza strains have developed resistance to available antivirals, however. Vaccination remains the primary avenue for the prevention of the flu.
Pneumonia is the most commonly seen complication of influenza infection. Typically, it is caused by a secondary bacterial infection such as Haemophilus influenzae or Streptococcus pneumoniae. The flu can also lead to sinus and ear infections, worsen existing medical conditions such as chronic pulmonary diseases, or cause inflammation of the heart.
Although any flu patient can experience complications from the disease, certain groups are at a higher risk for flu complications than others: older individuals, young children, people with asthma, and pregnant women are some of those whose risk for complications is elevated. In a typical flu season, people 65 or older account for 90% of deaths from the flu. (Some pandemic influenzas behave quite differently than expected in this regard; in the 2009 h2N1 pandemic, almost 90% of deaths from h2N1 influenza were among people younger than 65).
Available Vaccines and Vaccination Campaigns
Because new strains of influenza appear frequently, the seasonal flu vaccine usually changes each year. Each season vaccine is generally designed to protect against three strains of influenza: two “A” strains, and one “B” strain. From start to finish—the selection of which three strains to target with the vaccine, to the production of the final product—the development process for the seasonal flu vaccine can take up to eight months.
Influenza surveillance centers around the world monitor the circulating influenza strains for trends year-round. Genetic data is collected and new mutations are identified. The World Health Organization is then responsible for selecting three strains most likely to genetically resemble strains circulating in the coming winter flu season. For the northern hemisphere winter, this decision is made in the February prior. In some cases, one of the strains used in the previous year’s vaccine may be chosen again, if that strain continues to circulate. From this point, the development and production of the vaccine can begin.
Four to five months after the three vaccine strains have been selected (in June or July), the three vaccine strains that have been developed are separately tested for purity and potency. Only after individual testing is completed are the three strains combined into a single seasonal vaccine.
In the case of a pandemic, an additional vaccine may be created to protect against a particularly virulent or widespread strain of influenza. The need for a 2009 h2N1 influenza vaccine became apparent after the strains for the seasonal flu vaccine had already been selected, so that a separate vaccine was created.
A quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine was licensed in the United States in 2012, and a quadrivalent live virus nasal spray vaccine was licensed in 2013. These formulations include two influenza B strains in addition to the A strains. This vaccines began to be available, along with trivalent vaccines, in the 2013-14 influenza season.
U.S. Vaccination Recommendations
Influenza vaccination was added to the U.S. childhood immunization schedule in 2004. It is recommended that children, adolescents, and adults receive the seasonal influenza vaccine each year after six months of age; the inactivated vaccine is recommended for those age six months and older. A live, attenuated vaccine is available for those more than two years old and under age 50. Additional details and recommendations are specified on the immunization schedule.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. Influenza. Atkinson, W., Wolfe, S., Hamborsky, J., McIntyre, L., eds. 13th ed. Washington DC: Public Health Foundation, 2015. (909 KB). Accessed 01/25/2018.
CDC. Prevention and control of seasonal Influenza with vaccines. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2013-24. MMWR September 20, 2013.62;RR07:1-43. Accessed 01/25/2018.
CDC. Seasonal Influenza – Key facts about Influenza (flu). Accessed 01/25/2018.
Kamps, B.S., Hoffman, C., and Preiser, W. (eds.). Influenza Report 2006. Paris: Flying Publisher, 2006. Accessed 01/25/2018.
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Last update 25 January 2018
a history of flu vaccine innovation
Commonly known as flu, influenza is a contagious respiratory condition caused by viruses. The seasonal nature of flu brings a year-round disease burden; the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates seasonal flu can cause up to 650,000 deaths annually as a result of respiratory diseases alone.
Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent flu – particularly needed for at-risk populations, such as old people, young children and people with certain respiratory conditions. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated around 40,000 deaths were avoided between 2005 and 2014 because of the seasonal flu vaccine.
However, as the influenza viruses causing seasonal flu epidemics, Type A and Type B, are constantly genetically mutating, antibodies created due to flu vaccination will not necessarily protect those who received the vaccine the following year. Instead new vaccines have to be developed annually based on predictive modelling of how the viruses will antigenically change.
As scientists have uncovered more and more about the peculiarities of flu viruses and flu vaccination has become more widespread, vaccines to prevent flu have evolved and improved significantly both in terms of better viral coverage and more patient-friendly administration methods.
1930s – First flu vaccine developed
Following the high mortality rate of the 1919 Spanish flu pandemic, which actually caused more deaths than the First World War, scientists began to investigate the root causes of flu.
Although initially believed to be caused by bacteria, in the 1920s it became clear that a virus was the primary disease agent and in the 1930s the first influenza virus was isolated.
As a result of this work, in the mid-1930s, US virologists Jonas Salk and Thomas Francis developed the first flu vaccine. It was used to protect US military forces during the Second World War. Salk and Francis’ vaccine was an inactivated influenza A-targeting egg-based product.
1940s – Discovery of Influenza B, leading to dual-targeting vaccines
In 1940, a second flu-causing virus was discovered – it was antigenically different from the original version isolated ten years before and named influenza virus B.
Consequently, scientists began to work on creating a bivalent vaccine using the same egg culture approach that contained both type A and type B; it was first tested on humans in 1942. The dual-targeting nature of this vaccine meant it was able to better protect people against flu.
1952 – WHO starts monitoring virus strains
It became clear that not only were there two different strains of influenza, but the viruses were constantly evolving and mutating through what became known as antigenic drift. As early as 1947, it was clear that the seasonal vaccine created for the US military did not protect against all flu.
Therefore, six years after the WHO’s founding by the United Nations, the organisation’s Executive Board created the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS).
The GISRS was the first surveillance system to monitor the flu disease burden and the mutational changes occurring making vaccines less effective.
Over time the GISRS began to also support improved vaccine development by encouraging research to obtain suitable virus isolates to compose seasonal flu vaccines based on the epidemiology of that year’s particular disease-causing, mutated influenza virus.
1960s-70s – Further improvement of vaccines
The flu treatments developed since the 1930s had been whole virus vaccines, however, in the 1960s and 1970s researchers began to develop newer versions: split virus and subunit vaccines.
Split virus vaccines are those disrupted by a detergent and in sub-unit vaccines the HA and NA surface antigens of the viruses are isolated, meaning less of the actual virus is actually introduced through vaccination.
These two new formulations had similar efficacy to whole virus vaccines, but with reduced adverse reactions to the vaccines.
In addition, the flu vaccines being developed in the late 1970s were trivalent, rather than bivalent. Due to a major mutation observed in 1978, h2N1 appeared during the swine flu pandemic, and vaccines began to now contain two, rather than one, strain of influenza A and one strain of type B.
1980s – Global consultation on composition of seasonal vaccines
Using data from the GISRS’ monitoring, experts came together at the WHO in 1986 for the first time to review virus circulation and determine the strains most likely to spread and infect people globally that season.
Initially this was only done annually, but now it is performed twice a year with the help of predictive, computational models. The US CDC estimates the flu vaccine has an effectiveness of between 40% and 60%, depending on the accuracy of the match between the flu virus and the vaccine. Scientists are working on better forecasting models in a bid to increase the efficacy even higher.
2003 – First live attenuated influenza vaccine approved
Although clinical trials of live attenuated flu vaccines had been conducted since the 1930s, FluMist was the first of this type of vaccine to be approved in the US.
The vaccine contains a live, but weakened, version of three different strains of flu virus, which has been mixed with genes that code for surface proteins of virus strains predicted to be circulating widely that season.
Unlike flu vaccines developed up to this point, FluMist is not administered subcutaneously via an injection, but intranasally using a spray. It is cold-adapted so it can grow at lower temperatures of the nasal passages, but cannot survive in lungs where influenza developed; the technology to create it was developed by Hunein Maassab, who had been a graduate student of Thomas Francis, one of the inventors of the first flu vaccine.
2011 – Intradermal vaccines emerge
Due to patient reluctance towards traditional intramuscular vaccination, because of a dislike of needles and unpleasant adverse reactions, which impact patient adherence to flu vaccination programmes, scientists began to develop alternative administrative methods for the annual flu vaccine.
Intradermal, skin-based approaches were viewed as promising because, according to the CDC, it requires a 90% smaller needle and 40% fewer antigens in the vaccine itself, meaning more vaccine doses can be made.
This approach also provides the same immune response as a traditional intramuscular flu shot; dermal dendritic cells targeted by the vaccine are very efficient at presenting antigens against viruses.
The 2012-3 flu season saw the first use of an intradermal flu vaccine, Sanofi’s Fluzone, which was approved by the FDA in 2011.
2012 – Improving upon trivalent vaccines
To reduce the likelihood of a mismatch between the viruses seasonally circulating and the composition vaccine, while maintaining the same immunogenicity and safety as trivalent vaccines, GSK developed the first quadrivalent vaccine Fluarix. It contains two strains of influenza A and two strains of type B, one from each antigenically distinct lineage.
Quadrivalent has now become the standardised dosage approach for seasonal flu vaccine; vaccines originally created with only three viruses, such as Sanofi’s Fluzone, have been updated to contain another influenza B virus.
2013 – Creating vaccines composed of recombinant proteins
Standard practice to manufacturing flu vaccines continued to involve using an egg-based culture and weakened flu viruses. However, to make production of viruses more nimble and flexible, facilitating quicker responses to the particular demands of a flu season, a recombinant protein-based manufacturing approach was developed. This production process makes people with egg allergies also able to be protected against flu.
Sanofi’s Flublok was the first recombinant vaccine approved by the FDA in 2013. It is made from three influenza haemagglutinin proteins, which are cultured inside insect, rather than chicken, eggs.
US Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Nicole Lurie wrote in a statement: “The method used to manufacture Flublok may help meet the increased demand for flu vaccine quickly because it has the potential for faster start-up of the manufacturing process than traditional egg-based vaccine methods.”
2019 – Progress towards a needle-free version
To help overcome patient reluctance, as well as difficulty in deploying needle-based vaccination methods in developing countries, the University of Rochester Medical Centre have created a needle-free vaccine patch that can cause the same immune response as a traditional flu shot in animal models. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Dean’s professor of dermatology at the University and co-author of the study Lisa Beck commented: “[Developing] countries don’t have the manpower to vaccinate entire populations. On top of that, there’s an aversion to health care in many of these communities. A needle is painful, it’s invasive, and that makes things more difficult when you are dealing with a cultural bias against preventative medicine.”
The researchers developed synthetic peptides to bind to and inhibit claudin-1, which Beck had found to be responsible for the leakiness of eczema patients’ skin barriers. They then designed a patch containing these peptides and a recombinant flu vaccine.
Unfortunately, currently the patch is primarily effective when administered to boost immunity following an intramuscular injection of flu vaccine, but the team are planning to continue to work on the patch as they perform further animal studies and eventually clinical trials.
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Hunein Maassab, Who Developed FluMist Vaccine, Dies at 87
More than 70 studies and trials were conducted, covering more than 9,000 volunteers. By the late 1990s, tests showed that the vaccine successfully prevented the flu 85 percent of the time, a better rate than that for the injected, nonliving vaccine. (Tests since then have shown the nasal spray to be even more effective.) Pharmaceutical companies soon bought rights to develop the drug and made plans to market it as more tolerable to children.
“I feel in a sense that I have accomplished my life’s dream,” Dr. Maassab, who had retired, said after FluMist was finally approved. “I spent all my lifetime developing this vaccine.”
Dr. Maassab was born on June 11, 1926, in Damascus. His father was a jeweler. He enrolled at the University of Missouri, where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1950 and a master’s in physiology and pharmacology in 1952. He then moved to Michigan, where he earned a master’s degree in public health in 1954 and his doctorate in epidemiology in 1956.
Survivors include his twin sons, Sammy and Fred. His wife, the former Hilda Zahka, died in 2006.
Dr. Maassab said he was motivated to study the flu by Dr. Salk, by Dr. Francis and by the mysteriousness of the deadly 1918 flu pandemic, which killed tens of millions of people worldwide, including many soldiers fighting in World War I.
“He had to make sure that it meets all kinds of criteria,” Dr. Bashshur, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said of Dr. Maassab’s long pursuit of FluMist. “He would succeed on one thing and then have to pursue another. He always thought at the end of the day he was going to be able to perfect it. He just knew it. And he had to get the scientific data to support his position.”
He added: “You have to be smart, that goes without saying. But I think his unique characteristic was perseverance. Scientific discovery doesn’t come easy. It’s easy to give up, but he would just never give up.”
A brief history of vaccination
The practice of immunisation dates back hundreds of years. Buddhist monks drank snake venom to confer immunity to snake bite and variolation (smearing of a skin tear with cowpox to confer immunity to smallpox) was practiced in 17th century China. Edward Jenner is considered the founder of vaccinology in the West in 1796, after he inoculated a 13 year-old-boy with vaccinia virus (cowpox), and demonstrated immunity to smallpox. In 1798, the first smallpox vaccine was developed. Over the 18th and 19th centuries, systematic implementation of mass smallpox immunisation culminated in its global eradication in 1979.
Louis Pasteur’s experiments spearheaded the development of live attenuated cholera vaccine and inactivated anthrax vaccine in humans (1897 and 1904, respectively). Plague vaccine was also invented in the late 19th Century. Between 1890 and 1950, bacterial vaccine development proliferated, including the Bacillis-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination, which is still in use today.
In 1923, Alexander Glenny perfected a method to inactivate tetanus toxin with formaldehyde. The same method was used to develop a vaccine against diphtheria in 1926. Pertussis vaccine development took considerably longer, with a whole cell vaccine first licensed for use in the US in 1948.
Viral tissue culture methods developed from 1950-1985, and led to the advent of the Salk (inactivated) polio vaccine and the Sabin (live attenuated oral) polio vaccine. Mass polio immunisation has now eradicated the disease from many regions around the world
Progess of polio elimination 1988 and 2014
Attenuated strains of measles, mumps and rubella were developed for inclusion in vaccines. Measles is currently the next possible target for elimination via vaccination.
Despite the evidence of health gains from immunisation programmes there has always been resistance to vaccines in some groups. The late 1970s and 1980s marked a period of increasing litigation and decreased profitability for vaccine manufacture, which led to a decline in the number of companies producing vaccines. The decline was arrested in part by the implementation of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation programme in the US in 1986. The legacy of this era lives on to the present day in supply crises and continued media efforts by a growing vociferous anti-vaccination lobby.
The past two decades have seen the application of molecular genetics and its increased insights into immunology, microbiology and genomics applied to vaccinology. Current successes include the development of recombinant hepatitis B vaccines, the less reactogenic acellular pertussis vaccine, and new techniques for seasonal influenza vaccine manufacture.
Molecular genetics sets the scene for a bright future for vaccinology, including the development of new vaccine delivery systems (e.g. DNA vaccines, viral vectors, plant vaccines and topical formulations), new adjuvants, the development of more effective tuberculosis vaccines, and vaccines against cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), staphylococcal disease, streptococcal disease, pandemic influenza, shigella, HIV and schistosomiasis among others. Therapeutic vaccines may also soon be available for allergies, autoimmune diseases and addictions.
View timelines of the history of vaccine preventable disease discoveries and epidemics and vaccine development since the 11th century; participate in activities to learn how vaccines are made and how they work; and access immunisation resources suitable for parents and/or health professionals on The History of Vaccines website developed by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
The Man Who Beat the 1957 Flu Pandemic
This essay first appeared on Last Word on Nothing on April 15, 2020.
Twenty biomedical companies. Seventy nations. An aggressive search for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines is underway worldwide. Yet even 21st-century technology can’t match one man who curbed a major influenza pandemic spreading across the United States in 1957.
Pioneering virologist Maurice Hilleman, now oft-forgotten, detected that pandemic from across the globe, convinced reluctant U. S. health officials to take notice, and single-handedly fostered a vaccine that became publicly available. All in just four months.
An irascible, no-holds-barred Montana farm boy born in the midst of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, Hilleman survived diphtheria and Great Depression-era poverty to earn a PhD in microbiology and chemistry at the University of Chicago. Practical and impatient, he turned down the prestige of academia and primarily worked in industry, at the pharmaceutical company E. R. Squibb & Sons and later Merck & Co, where he led vaccine research for 25 years.
An iconoclast who slung swear words like the proverbial sailor, Hilleman helped develop an astounding 40 vaccines: to prevent measles, mumps, rubella, pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, and other infectious diseases. The measles vaccine alone has saved an estimated one million lives a year. “Maurice’s genius was in developing vaccines, reliably reproducing them, and [taking charge] of all pharmaceutical facets, from research to marketplace,” biographer Paul A. Offit, MD, told the British Medical Journal for Hilleman’s obituary in 2005. The New York Times later noted that researchers credit him with “saving more lives than any other scientist in the 20th century.”
Hilleman worked under the public radar yet touched most people’s lives. He was chief of respiratory diseases at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research when a new h3N2 type of influenza, termed the Asian flu, hit in 1957—eventually causing more than 1 million deaths worldwide and killing an estimated 70,000 to 116,000 in the U.S. The number of American deaths could have reached 1 million, public health experts estimated, without the quick arrival of 40 million doses of vaccine that fall. With a reputation for emphasizing safety and reducing vaccine side effects, Hilleman nonetheless led that vaccine’s rollout by ignoring anyone who might slow him down, including federal regulators.
On the morning of April 17, 1957, Hilleman was sitting in his office at Walter Reed reading a New York Times article about an influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. An estimated 250,000 people were infected, then about 10 percent of Hong Kong’s population. Tens of thousands of people lined up to receive health care, including “glassy-eyed” children, Hilleman recalled for Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases, by Paul Offit, a virologist, co-developer of the rotavirus vaccine, and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania medical school.
“Hilleman put down the paper: “My God,” he said, “This is the pandemic. It’s here!”
Not one to follow chain-of-command protocols, Hilleman quickly cabled a U.S. Army lab in Japan and asked them to investigate. A medical officer found a Navy serviceman who had contracted the mysterious flu strain and requested he “gargle with salt water and spit into a cup” for a sample. Hilleman received the sample a few weeks later, and he and his team worked 14-hour days to isolate the virus strain, for which few people had any antibodies.
At first, Hilleman had a tough time convincing experts in the military Influenza Commission and U. S. Public Health Service the flu was a threat to the United States, according to Offit. On May 22, 1957, Hilleman sent out a press release from Walter Reed. He then predicted the flu would arrive in the U.S. in September, just as schools opened. “What pandemic?” some experts asked.
Hilleman sent virus samples to six American-based companies that produced influenza vaccines. Flu vaccines had been available since the mid-1940s, so researchers weren’t starting from scratch in 1957. Yet if there was “any hope of saving American lives, he would have to convince companies to make and distribute vaccine in four months. Influenza vaccine had never been made that quickly,” Offit wrote. To do so, Hilleman ignored federal drug regulators: “I knew how the system worked,” Hilleman said. “So I bypassed the Division of Biologics Standards, called the manufacturers myself, and moved the process quickly.”
The first flu vaccine lots were produced in June, within weeks of Hilleman’s request. Vaccinations started in July. The influenza pandemic hit the U.S. in early September (just as Hilleman predicted). Forty million doses were given over the next three months. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and public health regulations require safety and efficacy tests for new vaccines, which take more time, though the FDA can authorize drugs under an Emergency Investigative New Drug category.
Massive potential loss of life, as Hilleman realized, calls for high-level action.
The urgency is there. By early April, at least 70 countries joined a World Health Organization trial to accelerate research on COVID-19 treatments. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said 20 institutions and companies “are racing to develop a vaccine.”
Maurice Hilleman, who would have been 100 years old last year, is not around to advise WHO, as he had done for years, on a COVID-19 vaccine. The virologist died from cancer in 2005, volunteering his own lung cells for experimental cancer treatments near the end of his life. Obituaries at the time lauded his accomplishments, yet why is Hilleman not more widely known, like Edward Jenner, Jonas Salk, or Louis Pasteur?
Outspoken within the field of virology, Hilleman did not seek recognition by naming any vaccines after himself (though the mumps vaccine still given today, the Jeryl Lynn live antigen, is named for his daughter. In another unique approach, when Jeryl Lynn was five years old and contracted mumps, Hilleman swabbed her throat to later develop a vaccine). Hilleman worked mostly for industry, not academia, so his work was less widely touted, though he won the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award and the National Medal of Science, among other awards. Longtime friend Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and health advisor to the White House on COVID-19, has said Hilleman’s contributions were “the best kept secret among the lay public.” This, even though he helped develop nine of 14 children’s vaccines recommended today. “One person did that!” Fauci told the Times. “Truly amazing.”
What can one dedicated scientist make happen now? If a pioneering virologist working for a biomedical company leads the landmark creation of a COVID-19 vaccine—saving millions of lives worldwide—will we even know his or her name?
“There’s great joy in being useful,” Hilleman once said, “and that’s the satisfaction you get out of it. Other than that, it’s the quest of science and winning a battle over these damn bugs.”
For further information on Hilleman’s life and work, here are a few compelling resources:
Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases by Paul A. Offit, MD (HarperCollins, 2007) https://www.harpercollins.com/9780061227967/vaccinated/
Video: “Maurice Hilleman, The Man behind the Science” by the Vaccine Makers Project
And one-hour documentary: “HILLEMAN: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children.”
The Interesting History of the Flu Vaccine
The history of the flu virus
The flu is a fascinating subject. Most Australians are exposed in one way or another. Whether you yourself have had the flu or you’ve seen a family member go through it, you are likely aware of its effects and the illness it can cause the vulnerable, such as children and the elderly. With the 2020 flu season almost upon us, we’ve pulled together some interesting facts about the flu vaccine and the history of the flu in Australia.
The influenza virus was first isolated in 1933, giving rise to a new era in which all of humanity could be protected from one of the world’s most prolific killers. This breakthrough changed thinking about influenza, as previously the consensus was that the flu was caused by a bacterium known as Haemophilus Influenzae.
When was the flu vaccine invented?
The very first monovalent flu vaccine was invented in 1938 and was widely used to inoculate United States defence forces during World War 2. The first bivalent influenza vaccine was developed in 1942 as a response to the discovery of Influenza Type B. In 1978, the first trivalent flu vaccine was introduced. This vaccine typically includes two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain.
In 2012, the first quadrivalent flu vaccine was licensed in the United States. Since then, a variant of the quadrivalent vaccine has become commonly recommended by WHO each year.
How is the flu vaccine determined?
Starting in 1973, the World Health Organisation began issuing guidance to all nations on the composition of the flu vaccine for each coming flu season. Each year, the World Health Organisation meets and may make different recommendations to previous years based on the data they have available and their expectations for which flu strains are likely to be the most widespread the following year.
Most nations will then have a body that determines the flu shot based on the advice of the World Health Organisation. In Australia, this body is the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC). They meet each year at the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Canberra to determine the make-up of the flu vaccine for the upcoming flu season.
Click here to read more about how the 2020 flu shot is determined.
The history of the flu in Australia
In 1919, the Spanish flu arrived in Victoria. For some time it had been held at bay through the extensive quarantining and blockading procedures put in place at all ports. Over the months following its arrival, it spread throughout New South Wales and the rest of the country. During that time, approximately 10,000 Australians died. The Spanish flu was remarkable for its tendency to cause fatalities in young adults, rather than the elderly or young children.
1957 saw the rise of the next major flu pandemic, known as the Asian flu. This flu was far more widespread than the Spanish flu, but with a much lower fatality rate. This was one of the first instances in the modern era of a major global pandemic originating from bird viruses. In 1968, Australia experienced the Hong Kong flu. This pandemic was relatively mild, with global deaths estimated at one million.
2009 was the year of the h2N1 flu. This strain was new and was believed to have arisen from a combination of human, avian and swine flu. It was first identified in Mexico and quickly spread around the world. For most people who contracted this flu, symptoms were mild. However, for a select few it caused serious complications in the lungs and severe pneumonia. Almost 40,000 cases were recorded in Australia and 191 people died. The median age of death was 53, whereas normal, seasonal flu has a median age of death of around 83.
The flu in recent years
Over time, Australia has become better at weathering each flu season. Government programs to improve accessibility to the flu vaccine for the elderly and young children ensure that more people are vaccinated. Growing acceptance of the flu vaccine and corporate programs to inoculate their workforce have also assisted in reducing the number of infected and annual deaths from the flu.
2017 Flu Deaths in Australia (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)
Get your flu shot!
Avoiding the flu should be high on everyone’s agenda this flu season. Save yourself the wasted time and the days of feeling terrible with a simple jab right at the start of the season.
If you’d like to get your 2020 flu shot, please click here.
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90,000 Hundred Years War: The History of Influenza Vaccines
But releasing a flu vaccine was not so easy: then scientists did not yet know that the virus was rapidly mutating, eluding immunity attacks. In 1940, Thomas Francis of the Rockefeller Institute in the United States discovered a new virus that caused symptoms very similar to the flu, but did not respond to antibodies that were specially designed to counter the influenza isolated by British scientists in 1933. In fact, the virus turned out to be a new strain, adding to the classification recently developed by virologists, and Francis took up polio and fourteen years after this discovery was already organizing clinical trials of the Salk vaccine. The flu, too, has ceased to be elusive: in 1945, the first vaccine against it was approved for the American army, and in 1946 – for the civilian population.
The Empire Strikes Back
But the end of the struggle was still far away. In 1957, Maurice Hilleman, a renowned American virologist who participated in the development of more than 40 vaccines, and his medical colleagues from the US Department of Defense discovered a new influenza virus that caused a pandemic that began with an outbreak in Hong Kong.The virus was not at all afraid of antibodies against new strains, but people who survived the influenza pandemic of 1889-1890 showed resistance to it, and found antibodies in their blood that reacted to the virus. In no time, working 14 hours a day, Hilleman figured out which proteins were helping the virus escape the attention of the immune system, developed a vaccine suitable for the new strain, and convinced the manufacturers to make forty million doses.
In two years around the world from the new strain killed two million people, but in the United States there were only 69 thousand deaths, while without the help of Hilleman, according to some estimates, only the number of victims in the United States would have reached a million.In 1968, Hilleman was transported from Hong Kong with another new strain of influenza type A2 (the famous “Hong Kong flu”). It took the researcher four months to study it and produce nine million doses of the vaccine, and hundreds of thousands of lives were saved. However, the epidemic of ten years ago did not teach Asians to control the spread of viruses. The new outbreak quickly spread to Vietnam and Singapore, then spread to India, the Philippines, Australia and Europe, and arrived in the United States with returning soldiers.In Hong Kong alone, half a million people (15% of the population) fell ill.
The same virus returned in late 1969, 1970 and 1972, but thanks to vaccination, antibiotics saved from secondary bacterial infections and the formation of immunity among survivors of previous pandemics, it did not cause such devastating consequences. However, the threat of new pandemics hung over the planet more than once. In 1977-1978, a dangerous strain was discovered in Russia, but the next year a new vaccine contained its proteins to prevent the virus from spreading.The outbreaks of avian and swine flu in the first decade of the 21st century caught humanity by surprise.
90,000 WHO / Europe | Types of Seasonal Influenza
Two types of influenza vaccines are widely used: inactivated (IIV) and live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV). Traditionally, influenza vaccines (both IIV and LAIV) have been produced to protect against three different seasonal influenza viruses (trivalent vaccines). This is still the rule in most countries, and currently produced trivalent vaccines contain influenza A (h4N2), pandemic A (h2N1) and influenza B from one of two lines.However, vaccines are now available in some countries that protect against four different viruses, including influenza B viruses in both strains (quadrivalent vaccines).
Regardless of the type or composition of seasonal influenza vaccine, vaccination is required annually to obtain optimal protection against infection.
Annual virus selection
WHO updates the composition of influenza vaccines (IIV and LAIV) annually based on information provided by the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) – a partner network of 141 national influenza centers in 111 countries, 6 collaborating centers WHO and 4 leading WHO reference laboratories.
The WHO GISRS collects and analyzes samples of influenza viruses from around the world on an ongoing basis. Each year, one (or more) vaccine components for the upcoming Northern and / or Southern Hemisphere influenza season may be modified to reflect the most commonly detected and recently circulating influenza A and B viruses.
Since the production of a vaccine takes about 6 months, the influenza vaccine is produced annually under high time pressure, requiring timely submission of viruses to the WHO GISRS. The production of seasonal influenza vaccines is based on the cultivation of the virus in chicken embryos or cell cultures.
Inactivated influenza (IIV) vaccines
IIV is approved for use in children over 6 months of age and adults, including pregnant women and those with chronic health problems. A single injection of the vaccine to the deltoid or thigh muscles is recommended. The exception is children aged 6 months to 8 years who have not been vaccinated against seasonal influenza in previous seasons, who must be vaccinated 2 times with an interval of at least 4 weeks.The flu vaccine given during pregnancy will protect both the mother and the newborn.
The viruses used in vaccines are inactivated and do not cause influenza. However, mild side effects may occur, including a local reaction at the injection site. Persons who have not previously had contact with antigens of the influenza vaccine may experience such phenomena as a short-term increase in body temperature, malaise, myalgia (muscle pain) and other transient systemic reactions.
Live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV)
LAIV is approved to vaccinate children over 2 years of age and adults under 50 with no underlying medical conditions. The vaccine is not intended for pregnant women. LAIV is administered intranasally as a single dose. The exception is children 2 to 8 years old who have not been vaccinated against seasonal influenza in previous seasons, who must receive the vaccine 2 times with an interval of at least 4 weeks.
LAIV is produced on the basis of attenuated (weakened) viruses and does not cause influenza, although mild disorders (including runny nose, nasal congestion, fever, sore throat) may occur.The most common side effects of the vaccine are milder and more transient than symptoms of influenza infection.
90,000 YOU ASKED ABOUT THE INFLUENZA VACCINATION? Articles
Almost every person who cares about their health and the health of their relatives and friends, the question arises:” Do I need to get a flu shot? ”
From 15. 08.2016 in children’s polyclinics of the Krasnoselsky district flu vaccination is carried out for children from 6 months of age with the Grippol Plus vaccine.Influenza viruses are among those pathogens that have an extremely high ability to change. It is with the variability of influenza viruses that the annual seasonal increases in morbidity are associated. Our immune system, when faced with a modified influenza virus, begins to perceive it as a new, previously unknown virus. And while the body “adjusts” the production of protective antibodies to fight the virus, a person develops a disease. After vaccination or influenza, protective antibodies are formed in the body, but they persist for about a year and then are destroyed.When a new variant of the influenza virus arrives next year, it again “takes our immune systems by surprise” and we get sick again. The most effective way to prepare the immune system for this “encounter” is with the FLU PREVENTION VACCINE. There are live and inactivated (killed) vaccines. Live vaccines in pediatrics are rarely used in children 3 years of age and older. Inactivated vaccines are administered as an intramuscular injection from the age of 6 months (for young children, an injection is given in the thigh, for children from 18 months, in the shoulder).Vaccines from different manufacturers do not differ in the variants of influenza viruses that are included in their composition. every year the composition of vaccines is formed according to the recommendations of WHO specialists. EFFICIENCY OF VACCINATION AGAINST INFLUENZA. In 14 – 21 days after vaccination, immunity develops, which provides protection against influenza for 6 – 12 months. No vaccine gives a 100% guarantee against the disease. On average, 70 to 98 people out of 100 vaccinated will not get the flu, the rest can get a mild illness without complications.REACTIONS TO THE INFLUENZA VACCINE Local reactions – at the injection site, redness, induration and soreness may appear, which do not require treatment and disappear on their own within 2-3 days. General reactions are a short-term increase in body temperature to 38, general malaise, which disappear on their own after 1-2 days. No treatment is required either. CONTRAINDICATIONS TO VACCINATION. A constant contraindication is an allergy to chicken egg white in the form of a rash, Quincke’s edema, anaphylactic shock.Temporary contraindications are acute diseases or exacerbation of a chronic one. After recovery or during the period of remission (stabilization), vaccinations can be done.
WHEN IS IT BETTER TO GET THE FLU VACCINATION? It is best to vaccinate between September and October, but inactivated vaccines can be used throughout the influenza season. But if a person contracted the flu, and the symptoms of the disease have not yet appeared, a flu shot during this period will no longer be able to prevent the disease.
WHERE IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET THE INFLUENZA? Children can be vaccinated free of charge at the polyclinic at the place of residence, at the place of study. The written consent of the child’s legal representatives for the vaccination is required. The final decision on vaccination is made by the doctor, who must examine the child before vaccination .
Children are vaccinated by health workers in the vaccination rooms of kindergartens and schools. If you want to vaccinate your child in our clinic, just contact your local pediatrician. We sincerely wish you and your child not to get sick!
Head of the Children’s Polyclinic Department No. 65, St. Petersburg State Healthcare Institution “City Polyclinic No. 91”
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90,000 Get sick one after another: in the regions of Bashkiria, the virus massively mows down schoolchildren and teachers
Hundreds of cases and dozens of deaths from covid — and so on every day.In Bashkortostan, a surge in infections and deaths. And it seems that the coronavirus is only gaining its terrible course. It is necessary to resist an insidious attack. These are hygiene, vaccinations, various restrictive measures and even some prohibitions. First of all, internal, to ourselves. In addition, the season for the incidence of influenza and ARVI is almost in full swing. This means that their own health should be taken much more seriously and more carefully. After all, joy and sadness, laughter and sorrow are all in our hands. Alina Kamatova with details.
Remote control again. In 12 districts of the republic, the situation with coronavirus is very difficult. The municipalities had to take action. In the next two weeks, students of the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and tenth grades of Abzelilovsky, Baltachevsky, Belebeevsky, Beloretsky, Bizhbulyaksky, Buzdyaksky, Burzyansky, Gafuriysky, Chishminsky, Mishkinsky, Sterlibashevsky and Yanaulsky districts will study remotely. And this list may change over time.
Ufa schools have not yet switched to “remote”.But the employees of Rospotrebnadzor went on raids to check the observance of antiquated measures.
For the second year now, schoolchildren have been learning in new realities. Separation into streams, different entrances and exits to the building, antiseptics and thermometry.
In the 22nd school of Ufa, there were no problems with the observance of the sanitary and epidemiological requirements. Recirculators are installed in almost all classrooms here. There is also a schedule for disinfecting the rooms.
As before, masks should be worn by teachers and staff, students are not affected.The task of the children is to walk around the school as little as possible. Therefore, teachers come to them themselves.
Gulnur Khaybrakhmanova, chief specialist-expert of the Rospotrebnadzor Department for RB:
“Separate rooms should be assigned to each class. And they teach all the subjects that are taught at school. That is, walking around the offices is not provided. ”
Visitors are allowed to enter the school if they have a negative PCR test for COVID-19.Strict admission control in kindergartens.
Irina Alyokhina, antique inspector:
“The parent must undergo thermometry, must wear a mask, he must be sure to treat his hands.”
Unlike schools, in kindergartens, parents can accompany their child directly to the group.
“There the teacher meets us, asks our health, we treat our hands. We have an attendance log where we write that the child has arrived, temperature.And in the evening we will pick it up in the same way ”.
More than three hundred new cases of covid are recorded in the region every day. Over the past day, another 333 residents fell ill. This is a new anti-record. 18 people have died. Mass vaccination continues in the republic. More than one million one hundred thousand residents have already been vaccinated. Stepan Murko has so far made the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. After the second, he thinks of being vaccinated against the flu. He says that in this way he wants to increase protection for himself and his loved ones.
“If the need arises, I will.I don’t want to get sick and infect loved ones. And it will be a safe method. ”
Doctors warn that mixed infection is the most dangerous — it is fraught with serious complications, and hence longer recovery. At the same time, the vaccine against covid-19 and influenza must be done sequentially, and a month must pass between them. The gap is necessary for the immune system to have time to develop antibodies to the pathogen. These are general recommendations, but before the injection, it is imperative to consult a doctor.
Also in Bashkortostan, the planned medical examination and professional examinations are now temporarily suspended.And on the eve, restrictions were imposed on spectators’ attendance at sports events. By order of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic, from September 27, to visit theater and concert organizations, it is necessary to have a QR code confirming the passage of vaccination against covid or a certificate of a previous illness, or a certificate from a medical organization about the presence of contraindications.
90,000 Scientists have invented a vaccine patch that replaces injections: September 25, 2021, 06:39
Scientists at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have invented a 3D printed vaccine patch that provides more protection than injection vaccination , reports Tengrinews.kz with a link to Gazeta.
According to a study in animals and published by a team of scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the resulting immune response from a vaccine injected through a patch was 10 times stronger than when injected into an arm muscle with a needle.
“By developing this technology, we hope to lay the groundwork for a more rapid development of the vaccine industry that can be applied at lower doses, without pain or anxiety,” says Joseph M.DeSimone, Study Director.
The vaccine patch is easy to use, effective, painless, less invasive than a needle prick, and can be self-applied. Since the patch is made using 3D printing, it will not be difficult to find a specific version of needles for vaccines against influenza, measles, hepatitis, COVID-19 or other diseases.
At the same time, the vaccine patch with microneedles cannot be considered a variant of the classic subcutaneous injection: when it is used, the response of T cells and antigen-specific antibodies is 50 times stronger.Scientists are now working to use the technology to make a ready-to-use product for administering the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Earlier, American researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created an adhesive that will help patients with a variety of injuries. Scientists stated that the new adhesive can stick to surfaces even if they are covered in blood, and can form a seal within about 15 seconds after application. The drug could offer a much more effective treatment for traumatic injuries and help control bleeding during surgery, they said.
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90,000 Where did the flu go in the era of coronavirus
Vaccination against influenza is starting, and now there is simply no such disease in the information space. The question is natural: are we being manipulated again?
With the emergence of a new “pandemic” reality, the idea of good news was completely distorted.Newsmakers were already stingy with positive news feeds before, because blood-thirsty ordinary people pecked only at outright “tin”. This was also beneficial to the authorities, who are used to keeping the people in constant fear of crises, defaults, wars, epidemics and other cataclysms.
And now the “good” news looks more like the encouragement of a drug dealer in the incomparable performance of Pyotr Mamonov in the film “Needle” by Rashid Nugmanov, who consoled a completely bandaged man: “How do we feel today? Well, it’s better today, better. “This is exactly what the assurance of the head of the cell proliferation laboratory at the V.A.Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Peter Chumakov looks like that, having a cold or ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection), you cannot simultaneously get infected with coronavirus.
“A person, of course, will not become infected with a coronavirus during a cold or SARS. But soon after he recovers, he may contract COVID-19. And since it will be weakened by the first disease, the coronavirus may be even more severe, ”said the scientist, whose words are quoted by the URA.RU.
However, the “optimism” of the situation is as follows: “Usually, when a person is sick with one virus, he does not get sick with another. Protection is underway, because interferon is released, an antiviral protein that protects the body from secondary infection, ”the virologist said.
Let’s pay attention to the words “when a person is sick with one virus, he does not get sick with another.” In the current situation, these words can be applied not so much to individuals as to the information space as a whole.A simple example: many scoffed at the fact that the coronavirus would “decrease” by the elections, and immediately after the plebiscite it would creep up sharply, which would become an excuse for the authorities for new “muzzles”. We refer you to the covid statistics for August-September – and you will have no doubts about the validity of this statement.
The second, no less important aspect: vaccination against influenza begins, and in the same notorious information space there is simply no such disease now. Hence the suspicion that influenza vaccination is a scam for the sake of money, business is profitable from ordinary citizens, since there is no threat of an epidemic today.Such allegations are not unfounded: for the last two seasons, the state departments have not recorded an outbreak of influenza – at least officially.
However, as noted by the epidemiologist Lydia Soprun , it is too early to say that the disease will not come this year. “It hasn’t gone anywhere and remains in the population,” she told Rosbalt. – The fact is that this infection has not received as much attention in recent epidemic seasons as another well-known one, and rapid methods for diagnosing influenza today are not very widespread, in contrast to the use of diagnostic methods for a new coronavirus infection.In her case, the polymerase chain reaction method was quickly developed and effectively put into practice. So, in this epidemic season, there is a possibility of an increase in the incidence of influenza. ”
The logical question is, why get vaccinated against the flu, if it is not on paper? The answer is simple: vaccination will not hurt, because it can save you from coronavirus, since the effect of “training immunity” is triggered. Virologists noted that in the first wave of covid, those vaccinated against influenza were infected with a new scourge by 47% less, and in the second – by 50%.
However, there is one catch: by making a choice in favor of a flu shot, you may really protect your body or even save your life. But you will not receive the coveted QR code on vaccinations, which may prevent you from accessing museums, theaters and many other entertainment events. So draw your own conclusions, to whom all this is beneficial and whether this problem is only in the medical plane …
90,000 Why Ukrainians thwarted the coronavirus vaccination campaign
The latest news is short: Ukraine came in second in Europe in terms of the growth rate of the number of detected cases (it is completely unclear how we did it, because we still test the least of all) and in first place in the number of hospitalizations.The curves of the graphs in some areas are approaching an exponential, the whole country has moved into the “yellow” zone … but now nuances and a differentiated approach are possible depending on the immune status.
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At the same time, on September 20, 6.3 million people (16% of the total population) were vaccinated with one dose, 5.2 million people (13%) were vaccinated with two doses. The rate of vaccination has slowed down and continues to slow down, we are seriously talking about the fact that we will have to give the vaccines received through humanitarian aid to other countries.
If we subtract from the total number of Ukrainians children who are not currently eligible for vaccination, then 20% of those vaccinated can be obtained. But even this is negligible, in fact there is no difference of twelve, twenty or even thirty percent – even up to half of the population, not to mention 70%, we are very, very far away.
To understand the scale: in Israel, where vaccination coverage is one of the highest in the world, if not the highest, 66% are fully vaccinated with at least one dose of 73%.But vaccination coverage of older age groups is almost 95%.
And with the vaccination of vulnerable groups – the older age group, people with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases – we have a sadness. Most of the vaccinated are conditional youth and healthy people. There is nothing wrong with this that the socially active and highly mobile part of the population is vaccinated, reducing their risks and the likelihood of long-term consequences of covid. But vaccinated youth will not save us from overcrowded hospitals and queues for oxygen concentrators.
Today we can state that both the vaccination campaign and its informational support have failed.
At the end of the second year of the pandemic, we were finally able, at the very least, to organize the process and establish logistics, and even the expected shortage of vaccines is not observed – but with a further increase in pace, everything is bad, we reached a plateau, slowed down, and there was already a decline.
We are approaching the saturation point of demand. Those who wanted to be vaccinated were vaccinated, yes, even though it was not convenient for everyone , not everyone understands how and where, not everyone was able to get the vaccine they chose (the last option, by the way, is not available in all countries, as a rule, people receive an affordable vaccine, which is purchased and supplied by governments, and not what they themselves want).
Next, you need to work with those who do not want or at least doubt. And we do not have time for this: the third wave of covid, the highly infectious strain Delta, is not only on the doorstep, but has already begun to reap its harvest.
Do not make yourself a panacea. Why the invention of coronavirus vaccines is not the end of the
Information war of different vaccine manufacturers for the sake of obtaining competitive advantages has become a determining factor in deciding whether to vaccinate or not – is this not evidence of weakness, if not the absence of state information policy in the field of epidemiological security?
This is the “theater of events”.Against the background of all this, the Ministry of Health’s department took care of the color differentiation of the trousers of the internal vaccination certificates. Yellow – for those who received one dose, green – if two, “you do not need to print on colored paper, these are color marks in electronic documents.”
But finally, clarity has been made on the expiration dates of certificates: after one dose of vaccine, the certificate is valid for 120 days, after two – a year. In this case, a negative test result “burns out” in 72 hours.
I hope this is a PCR test, because diagnostics using ELISA, blood tests for antibodies is not used anywhere in the world, only we continue to enter data on the number of positive ELISA tests in the statistics; and the informativeness of negative rapid tests is about 50%.
And, finally, a new option appeared, everyone was waiting for it and were very indignant that we did not have it: information on recovery from COVID-19 can be entered into the certificate , the validity period of the certificate with information of this kind is 180 days … (Yes, not forever, as the vaccine skeptics would like, after 6 months – come for vaccination or do PCR tests.)
So far, there are many questions how exactly the certificate with data on the transferred disease will look like, who enters these data into the system and how they should be confirmed.
Do we have an honest and complete picture of the number of people who have been ill? Have we done or are doing a sufficient number of tests for at least everyone with ARVI symptoms?
Before you inject yourself. The most common questions about vaccination against coronavirus
If they were sick with families, and the analysis was done, at best, by someone alone, or in general, the diagnosis was made on the basis of a typical clinical picture with a loss of smell in at least one family member or on the basis of a typical picture on CT – how can they now get their certificates? Or again, everything rests on a blood test for antibodies, which people will again be forced to do at their own expense? And it’s not a fact that antibodies will be there – over time, the titers fall, from the previous wave just about six months have passed.
There are other questions as well. Is it really not necessary for someone who has been ill to be vaccinated for as much as 180 days? Many will understand it this way. But the WHO, on the contrary, recommends that all those who have recovered be vaccinated as quickly as possible and focuses on the data, which doubles their already received protection.
To date, there is no data on what antibody titer after illness can be considered sufficient and protective. But there is evidence that not all those who have been ill are guaranteed to receive stable immunity.We add to this data on the doubled effectiveness of immunity when using the vaccine as a booster after already transferred covid (the third dose of the vaccine also works).
In general, there is no question that it is not necessary to vaccinate those who have been ill. There is a question that it is not necessary to do this immediately after the illness, which can be postponed for 6-8 months. It is possible to postpone, but not necessary: it is recommended to postpone in those countries where there is not enough vaccine for everyone else. Well, if those who have recovered are actually asked to postpone vaccination in order for others to have enough vaccines, then somehow it would not be logical to infringe on their rights, right?
What about Ukraine? We do not have a vaccine shortage – on the contrary, we are preparing to dispose of or transfer unused vaccines to others.This means that there is no reason to ask those who have recovered to wait.
And the shelf life of some of the vaccines (more than 11 million (!) Doses of the vector vaccine from AstraZeneca) is expiring, and we will have to transfer it to the place where the population can cope better with vaccination.
Who needs this traffic light, since all this colorful beauty is purely electronic and virtual?
In other countries, for example, in the USA, they have already tried to exempt vaccinated from restrictions … to the displeasure of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists.It was a purely political decision, because otherwise it would be difficult to convince people to get vaccinated.
Then there was information that vaccinated people can also be carriers of infection – yes, not always, yes, with a lower viral load, perhaps – but they can.
I would like to note that this is not “zrada”, it often happens in vaccinology. Many vaccines do not interrupt chains or spread infections in any way; they only reduce individual risks of severe disease, complications and death.For example, BCG and diphtheria vaccine.
Third dose. Why will you have to get vaccinated against coronavirus every six months
Then in a number of states there was a new rise in morbidity and hospitalizations – and this practice began to be abandoned, leaving concessions for the vaccinated only where the majority of the population was vaccinated. not vaccinated.
Our leaders either do not see it all, or they continue not to notice. We continue to play in adaptive quarantine, in half measures and a “flexible approach.” In the yellow zone, 80% of at least yellow certificates from workers will be enough for work in the red zone, you will need 100% green certificates this time.
As far as visitors are concerned, the business will decide whether to limit the number of seats and enforce a distance, or require everyone to have a “yellow” or “green” certificate or a fresh PCR test at the entrance.Hello, young people who hurried up in time and the holders of organized groups. Who and how will control how such decisions are respected is not clear.
Everything is so confusing that while you retell it, you will get even more confused – this is what color designations are for to make it shorter.
But no matter how much traffic lights you turn on, relaxation practices for vaccinated or recovered patients cannot work in countries where vaccination coverage is so low. It turns out that the epidemiological meaning of the vaccination campaign against the new coronavirus in Ukraine is approaching zero.
We won nothing in terms of stopping the spread of the virus, we can only talk about individual benefits for the vaccinated and a rather illusory economic gain, even if such a decorative and weak campaign in terms of achievements allows the authorities to pretend that nothing is happening and that lockdowns Not needed.