mRNA, the vaccine technology of the future

Public health is one of the most forgotten areas of medicine and healthcare. We only remember it when it becomes critical, as is the case with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a profession that needs more resources and work tools to perform critical functions, such as looking after the health of all citizens, as the “Looking after your health” conference demonstrated. Preventing Viruses and Diseases”, organized by ABC Salud in partnership with Moderna.

Elena Andradas, General Manager of the Public Health Department of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, said that public health is a matter of great concern to those responsible in this field. For this expert, investing in prevention programs “is one of the best investments in your health.” “This means that we must always be highly attentive and flexible to innovations that may occur in the short to medium term, and we must maintain close relations with the pharmaceutical industry and work directly with the scientific community,” he assured.

Vaccination is the cornerstone of public health disease prevention. In case anyone has forgotten, COVID-19 has reminded us.

To make everything run smoothly, Andradas emphasizes the “interoperability” of information systems, whether at autonomous regional, national or European level. “Just having records and information systems is no longer useful, but what we really need is real-time updated data.”

Furthermore, Andradas noted that training is necessary at all levels, primarily for health professionals. «We must be prepared to detect new possible threats early».

One of the pillars of public health is collaboration between different entities and private companies. Juan Carlos Gil, general manager of Moderna’s operations in Spain and Portugal, said that the epidemic left us with an example of this kind of cooperation. “From the beginning of the pandemic, we analyzed the situation in Europe and decided to target Spain as a strategic point for development and investment to guarantee the production and distribution of vaccines for European patients.”

A prevention program is one of the best investments in your health

Elena Andradas

director of public health of madrid

Spain has been our strategic partner of choice from the beginning. «The company decided to invest in three fundamental pillars of its production center: the production of active substances; the manufacturing of final products and packaging, and our last and most recent investment is an analytical laboratory of excellence for quality control, in which we are The laboratory distributes to more than 60 countries.

Moderna is investing nearly 500 million euros in Spain each year in 2021 and 2022 to keep the centers operational, and its general manager said they intend to continue doing so. “We have a clear commitment to science and this cannot be achieved without working hand in hand with scientific associations such as the Spanish Association of Vaccinology (AEV) or universities,” said Juan Carlos Gil.

In this sense, AEV President Jaime Jesús Pérez stressed that this scientific association sets itself the challenge of collaborating with other medical specialties where vaccines are not its main area of ​​action. «We have to introduce vaccines and make them part of who they are, just like the pediatric profession has done.».

Population is another line of action. To this end, “the media is important,” Perez noted. In addition, last year AEV launched two strategic lines: a committee dedicated to patient associations aimed at communicating to them the importance of vaccines in many diseases, and an awareness campaign about respiratory diseases aimed at the general population.

Spain is a strategic location for vaccine production and distribution

Juan Carlos Gil

Moderna General Manager Spain and Portugal

Population acceptance of vaccines is critical to the effectiveness of public health and prevention programmes. Ángel Gil de Miguel of the Ministry of Health’s Vaccine Advisory Committee explained that pediatric vaccination in Spain has been very effective for many years.

During adolescence, coverage begins to decrease. “We use new technologies – mobile phones, social networks and so on – but we know that our biggest challenge is the adult population. “We want to vaccinate older people before they are at risk, which is why the proposal is to introduce a vaccine for those aged 60 to 65 strategies for vaccinating the population. “

Angel Gil believes the best strategy to improve the situation is to engage community and family medicine so they understand that vaccination “can improve patients’ quality of life.”

But Perez acknowledged that assessing population acceptance of vaccines is complex, and as a study published in the journal Pediatrics noted, an ongoing observation is needed to determine why people are not getting vaccinated. “Merely measuring vaccination coverage is not enough, but there should be a system that tells us why those who are not vaccinated are not getting vaccinated.”

We want to vaccinate seniors before they are at risk

Angel Gil de Miguel

Madrid City Vaccine Advisory Committee

Last year, influenza coverage was 65%, and COVID-19 coverage among people in their 70s and 80s was 67%. That is, “two-thirds of us are complying with the recommendations and one-third are not.” Here are some numbers worth remembering: Depending on the year, influenza can kill 4,000 to 15,000 people, while vaccination can prevent up to 26,000 deaths in a year.

As already said, vaccination saves lives. At the same time, Angel Gil noted that vaccines help support the health system. “We have the money and the sustainability of the health system depends on prevention.”

The cost of influenza and hospitalization due to influenza ranges from €5,000 to €6,000. Clearly, vaccination is a highly cost-effective measure to ensure that we can continue to keep hospitals open for illnesses that require hospitalization. “A person dying from the flu because they were not vaccinated should not happen in our environment,” admitted Angel Gil.

Juan Carlos Gil said that the mRNA technology used in the new crown vaccine represents a revolution in vaccine production because it allows us to provide solutions to patients in a safer, faster and more flexible way.

In addition to paediatrics, we need to introduce vaccines in other specialties

Jaime Jesus Perez

President of the Spanish Vaccinology Association

future, modern Hope to continue working in respiratory diseases in the short term. In two years, “we will have a flu vaccine, a combination flu and COVID-19 vaccine, a combination flu, syncytial virus and COVID-19 vaccine, and a vaccine against syncytial virus alone. 2025 Previously, we would have four vaccines on the market, but over the next 5 years, this platform will give us the versatility to bring 15 new products to the market, not just in the respiratory space. In rare diseases, immunology Advances in oncology and cardiovascular disease.

We have the technology, the collaboration, the distribution, can we prepare for a new pandemic?

“We certainly have an opportunity to understand what we really need to strengthen in order to be prepared for new threats,” Andradas said.

Fortunately, Ángel Gil adds, “In Spain we have an excellent epidemiological surveillance network. The evidence is that during the pandemic the problem of monkeypox arose and was detected very quickly and all the necessary measures were taken control measures.

Juan Carlos Gil adds two important points: we must strengthen public systems in terms of prevention and public health, and moreover, to be prepared for a pandemic, it is necessary not only to recognize the different situations that are coming, but also to know how Deal with opposing it and stopping it.All we have to do is bet Innovation, not only in technology, but also in biomedical science, in biotechnology, and the adaptability and sustainability of these elements in your country. Currently, our factory in Spain enjoys an excellent location. “We are already working hard to address the following epidemics as part of our commitments with the World Health Organization.”

Experts point out that, finally, we need to send a message to the public that we are facing a new COVID-19 vaccination campaign. It is worth remembering that in the first year of vaccination, 2 million deaths were averted worldwide and 456,000 in Spain.. A public health report in the UK estimates that 4,000 deaths will be avoided this year if the entire population is vaccinated. What these data tell us is that although COVID-19 is thankfully not the same as it was in 2020, we must get vaccinated, but also against influenza and all the vaccines in the vaccination program.

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