More than 450,000 Galicians will be able to take part in groundbreaking research on influenza vaccine

To check whether the enhanced influenza vaccine already given to people over 80 years old in Galicia has the same effect in the age group between 65 and 79 years old and choose to receive this vaccine based on the results. This is the main goal of the GalFlu project, promoted by the Institute of Health Research in Santiago (IDIS) and the Ministry of Health, and trials will begin on the 26th, when the coronavirus and influenza vaccination campaigns will begin. Age groups in large venues in Galicia. This is a pioneering study promoted by the IDIS Xenetics, Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Group, led by Dr. Federico Martinón, who stressed during a press conference during the presentation that Galicia “is the only place that we think meets all the requirements” to be able to Conduct research on viral respiratory infections that are prevalent annually around the world. ”

After stressing that its implementation was an example of “public-academic collaboration”, he said the project was “conceptually simple because what we want is to compare the two vaccines that have been approved, the ones that are being used and the ones that are being used vaccine”. In fact, they are part of the vaccines offered during the current influenza campaign in Galicia, and the booster vaccine has more advantages than the traditional vaccine in terms of protecting people between 65 and 79 years old from possible complications. ”

To this end, more than 450,000 people in this group will be invited to voluntarily participate in clinical trials after receiving notification of influenza and COVID-19 vaccination. Of those who choose to participate, half will receive the standard vaccine and the rest will receive a booster vaccine, which will be determined randomly by a computer. Volunteers who receive the latter won’t have to do anything else once they’re vaccinated, as members of the project — more than 150 researchers — will have their electronic medical records under special monitoring.

This was not intended to monitor possible adverse reactions, a possibility ruled out by Public Health Director Carmen Durán, who recalled that two vaccines participating in this trial were on the calendar, with the booster vaccine a third Quarter it is managing the older one.

Regarding the choice of Galicia to promote this pioneering project, “We only know of one project with similar characteristics carried out in Denmark”, admits the head of pediatrics at the Compostela Clinic, “It was a challenge to carry out this project” from From a logistical perspective, we need to include so many people, we need the whole community to be involved, and a strong public health and surveillance system like ours. ”

He added that experience was also needed, “the ability to conduct such trials, which we have gained from IDIS, where more than 130 vaccine-related clinical trials have been conducted” and “a robust system”. This allows us to have information on hospitalizations and the effectiveness of influenza, which has been proven, and to have a vaccination system that allows us to reach the population, which is what we have proven, whether it’s COVID or influenza, we Records are being broken every year and we have reached the ceiling when it comes to adult vaccinations. ”

All this leads to “the objective reality that Galicia is also a community clearly committed to vaccines from an administrative and management perspective, with the most complete and advanced vaccination program in the world” becoming a pioneer in the implementation of trials with these characteristics. ”

The aim is to encourage around 50,000 Galicians between the ages of 65 and 79 to take part in the event, out of the 450,000 Galicians aged between 65 and 79 that will be convened in the coming weeks, and to add another 50,000 during the 2024-2025 event in order to ” “Statistical calculations allow us to determine with certainty and safety whether there are differences between these vaccines. ”

However, Federico Martinon said that while in principle the project was proposed for both activities, “if in this one we achieve the necessary sample targets and statistical power, maybe we already have what we need information.” He insisted that it was important “to get people involved collectively in this study, which is simple, using a vaccine that is already in use, and to emphasize that whoever participates has nothing to lose.”

In the current campaign, more than 58,000 people have been vaccinated against influenza and 55,000 against COVID-19 in Galicia

The Director of Public Health, Carmen Durán, claimed yesterday that the Galician Health Service (Sergas) has played a “pioneer” role in vaccinations since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and that its vaccination calendar is “the largest in the world.” complete”. . Duran took the opportunity to justify the response of Galician citizens to these events, since during last year’s event “76% of the population received the flu vaccine, breaking a record at the state level because only one community had our data.” And as age increases, this proportion will increase, reaching more than 80%, such as those between 78 and 80 years old. ” Regarding this issue, he said that Monday’s data includes 55,000 Galicians vaccinated against COVID-19 and 58,500 Galicians vaccinated against influenza. “Fundamentally, the difference is due to the fact that those infected with COVID-19 are of people must wait three months to get vaccinated. He believes the results of the study will be “a very important management tool for decision-making on future vaccination campaigns” as it aims to find out whether the booster flu vaccine is more expensive but has been shown to be effective in those aged 80 years. Those above also reflect greater effectiveness data on variables such as burden of care or hospitalization rates compared with the norm between 65 and 79 years of age.

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