19 December 2008

About flu vaccination

Remedium Magazine

End of the year. As always, with the onset of cold weather and the depletion of the body's protective resources, it's time to think about the prevention of infections, as they are called, SARS, so diverse and numerous. Most SARS, although unpleasant, are more or less harmless and easily treatable, however, in this family there is one representative named "flu", a meeting with whom is extremely undesirable.

Today, effective control of infectious diseases is possible only with the help of vaccines, and in this sense, vaccination has become a strategic direction of preventive medicine. No one doubts that with the help of vaccines, it is possible not only to manage morbidity, but also to completely eliminate an infectious disease. Moreover, there is confidence that with the help of specific immunization, it is possible to improve the health of the nation and even prolong human life, since the results of recent studies confirm the participation of infectious agents in the development of those diseases that were previously considered somatic.

There is no doubt that annual vaccination against influenza is the only real measure to prevent this infection. Without vaccination, it is impossible to prevent an epidemic of influenza and reduce the number of severe complications, as the World Health Organization wants. Moreover, influenza vaccines are the safest and most effective among other vaccines on the modern market.

Several vaccines, both domestic and foreign, have been registered and approved for use in Russia. So why do many people choose to take risks instead of getting vaccinated? Maybe the fear of flu vaccination comes from childhood, when everyone was vaccinated with an uncleaned live flu vaccine? Maybe then the thesis "vaccination is a mild disease" and a persistent reluctance to get infected on purpose have firmly settled in the subcortex? Maybe the situation has changed now? Let's look at the facts.

1. Production.Any virus necessarily requires living cells to reproduce.

So, viruses for the influenza vaccine are grown in chicken embryos. Since the technology of production of a live vaccine is aimed at preserving the infectious activity of a weakened virus, which should then be injected into a person, the question of substrate safety arises. In other words, does the egg contain other viruses that are unsafe for humans? In our country, as a rule, it contains. You can make inquiries about the veterinary welfare of breeding farms that supply eggs for live vaccines. However, it is known that we do not have leukemic chickens, and the influenza virus in the chicken embryo, multiplying itself, only increases the infectious activity of the leukemia virus. In inactivated vaccines, there is no such problem, since ALL viruses are inactivated. By the way, the American live vaccine is made on special eggs that do not contain pathogenic flora. These are so-called SPF eggs. They were also not found in America, so the strains are being taken to the UK to reproduce the virus. Of course, it's not cheap, so the price of the live American Flumist vaccine (more than $ 20) is 3-4 times higher than the cost of the inactivated and more than 10 times the cost of the Russian live vaccine. In addition, Americans have already been left without a vaccine once, when all 50 million doses intended for them were contaminated in England, and, it should be noted, scandals with contamination of breeding farms in Europe periodically arise. What can we say about the Russian live vaccine, the production of which in Irkutsk has not been updated since the conversion of premises into a pharmaceutical enterprise in the middle of the last century?

2. Mechanism of actionRecall what is the mechanism of action of a live influenza vaccine.

Each 0.5 ml dose of live vaccine contains 10 6.5-7.5 particles of live attenuated virus. This means that with a certain skill of the vaccinating person, from 10 to 100 million viral particles are injected into the nose. After that, the cold-adapted viral strains (which can reproduce only in cool conditions of the nasal passages - 25 ° C, and are not able to live at a normal body temperature of 36-37 ° C, unless, of course, their reversion into a pathogenic form occurs) replicate in the upper respiratory tract, causing activation of specific immunity only against vaccine strains of the influenza virus. It is important to note that protection from other acute respiratory infections does not occur in this case. Non-specific protection against the entire group of ARVI can be carried out, for example, with the help of antiviral drugs, interferon preparations or immunomodulators, and such a course should be carried out throughout the entire period of possible infection.

3. The way of introductionLet's see what happens to the way of conducting such a vaccine.

  Since the drug is uncleaned and unsterile (it's expensive and difficult!), it is absolutely impossible to inject it intramuscularly. Hardly anyone will agree to rectal administration, it remains either in the mouth or in the nose. In the mouth is ineffective, because we have a delicate flu virus in our stomach that will be digested quickly, and very serious troubles can be expected from other chicken viruses that may potentially be in the vaccine. It turns out - intranasally. Now this path is becoming more fashionable and promising. However, for drugs acting on the central nervous system.  There is a theory according to which the medicinal substance, getting into the nasal cavity, spreads to its upper part — the olfactory region, and then directly into the brain tissue, penetrating into the cerebrospinal fluid, spreading through the epithelial cells of the olfactory region. The theory is of great interest, since, in addition to being used to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease, this pathway can be used for Parkinson's disease, depression and even tumors. But why, tell me, should the flu virus facilitate its penetration into the brain? Why spray chicken proteins there, of which there are a lot in this absolutely uncleaned vaccine?  There is a sad experience of Bern Biotech, which launched the first intranasal influenza vaccine on the market in 2000. A year later, the Nazalflu vaccine was withdrawn from the market and forever forgotten due to cases of facial nerve paralysis.
4. Safety InformationDo not be lazy, go to the company's website.

Apparently, the harsh FDA scared the vaccine manufacturers so much with its demand not to mislead patients and doctors that now 3-7 lines on EACH page of the site are devoted to the wonderful Flumist vaccine itself, and the rest of the space is occupied by the section "Important safety information". What do vaccine manufacturers recommend to learn useful from this section? We read: "Flumist - a vaccine containing a live attenuated virus – is approved to prevent certain types of influenza in children, adolescents and adults from 2 to 49 years old. The Flumist does not protect everyone who uses this vaccine... the Flumist is not for everyone. Flumist should not be used by people with hypersensitivity to eggs, egg whites, getamycin, gelatin or arginine ... Children younger than 24 months are not allowed to use Flumist. The following categories of people cannot use Flumist, or they can, but under certain conditions: people with asthma or active cough; people with Gillian-Barr syndrome; people with a weakened immune system; people with a long-term illness, including heart disease, kidney disease, metabolic disorders, such as diabetes; pregnant women."  From the instructions for the drug, you can also learn that if you are a child from 2 to 6 years old, then the probability that after vaccination for 10 days there will be a runny nose is 58%, decreased appetite is 21%, decreased activity is 14%, sore throat is 11%, headache and high fever – 9%, inflammation of the middle ear – 3%. Among healthy adults, 44% of vaccinated expect a runny nose after vaccination, headache – 40%, sore throat – 28%, weakness – 26%, muscle pain – 17% and cough – 14%, the rest is trifles. Yes, it is very important not to forget that for 21 days the vaccinated person should refrain from contact with people with a weakened immune system, because 80% of those vaccinated with a live vaccine secrete from one to three types of viruses into the environment (it is difficult to give exact figures, since vaccine viruses change slightly during reproduction in the nasal passages and their it is already difficult to type, that is, to classify it to a certain strain). Apparently, our manufacturers of live influenza vaccine have this property of the virus in mind when they talk about collective immunity, which is formed by a live vaccine: each vaccinated person becomes a factory for the production of the virus, and, for example, sneezing in a subway car, quickly vaccinates the rest.

People have a peculiar sense of humor, especially when you consider that such a person can spit on a person carrying another flu virus, and on a chicken sick with "his" flu, and on a pig sick with "his" flu. With such an ability of the influenza virus to exchange genetic material with its relatives, the risk of a new virus that can cause an influenza pandemic increases.. It is not for nothing that agricultural workers, and especially poultry farms, are punished to be vaccinated only with an inactivated vaccine.

5. Do you still need the fifth point?

Well, we can say a few words about efficiency.  Believe me, they don't resuscitate a live vaccine. According to the unanimous opinion of experts, a live vaccine, whether Russian or American, has no advantages over inactivated ones. This is the opinion of the experts of the leading research center for influenza in the USA, this is the opinion of the manufacturers of the live American vaccine themselves, not recommending it to the elderly due to the lack of effect and multiple adverse reactions. This is also evidenced by the results of tests conducted in Russia on various contingents. 

Isn't it time to make a decision about vaccination with the right vaccines? Those that do NOT cause "mild infections", those that do NOT contribute to, but prevent the spread of influenza among the population, those that do NOT cause suppression of immunity for three weeks after vaccination, those that can really protect you, your family, and your colleagues from the flu and its severe consequences, and strangers on the street, because the less the virus walks, the less chance it has of infecting someone. This is already the law of epidemiology. 

Portal "Eternal youth" http://www.vechnayamolodost.ru/19.12.2008

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