New coronavirus and flu vaccines will begin to be given simultaneously at the end of this month

File photo of vaccination at Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital in Vigo Oscar Vazquez

The strategy includes pharmacists as well as vulnerable and healthy groups

September 12, 2023 .Updated at 11:26 p.m.

The National Health System Public Health Council, made up of the Director-General of the Ministry of Health and Communities, agreed on Tuesday: The combined coronavirus and influenza vaccination for high-risk groups will begin between the last week of September and before the end of October. During this period, each community has room to move, and in the case of Galicia, according to the Ministry of Health, dates will be determined within this range, although no specific date has been decided yet.

As novelty, agreed documentation Includes people working in health facilities, i.e. pharmacy staff On the same level as a seniors residence, hospital or outpatient clinic. Regardless, the main targets for revaccination are those who are more likely to develop severe disease if infected.This involves all Basically people over 60, immunosuppressed people (transplant recipients, cancer patients…) and pregnant women.

The committee also recommends vaccination against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for all children under six months of age (those born between April 1 this year and March 31 next year) and all infants at risk of Causes of Bronchiolitis: Premature infants less than 35 weeks gestation, infants with Down syndrome or severe immunosuppression, and infants admitted to intensive care units. Priority will be given to those who are about to give birth within the first 24 or 48 hours, as the disease affects them especially in the first few days of life.

Everyone born in Galicia since April can be vaccinated against bronchiolitis virus

Angel Paniagua

Pfizer and Moderna

The Surgeon General’s meeting coincides with the U.S. FDA’s approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines adapted to the Micron XBB.1.5 variant, which so far dominates the world.

People can rest assured that these improved vaccines have passed the agency’s strict controls on safety, effectiveness and production quality. “Those who are able to do so are encouraged to do so,” said Peter Marks, FDA’s director of biological research.

The virus is still not seasonal, and it becomes increasingly important for vaccines to adapt to variants

A vaccine suitable for the latest variants in circulation will be worth the wait. SARS-CoV-2 Still Shows No Signs of Seasonal Changes. Moreover, what is foreseeable in the near future is a soup of viruses coexisting with different lineages and more or less important genetic variants, rather than a series of mutations that triumph over previous mutations.

This was the main conclusion of a workshop organized by the pharmaceutical company Novavax jointly with the National Institute for Health Information (ANIS), suggesting that the company is in the alliance of Pfizer and Moderna and therefore has the ability to launch the latest version of the vaccine that can quickly adapt to circulation on the market. The meeting was attended by Novavax’s general manager for Southern Europe, who hinted that the role of the Biofabri plant in O Porrio – where the vaccines were announced to be produced – would be limited, as production is concentrated in the Czech Republic and Sweden. Next to him, virologist Ral Ortiz de Lejarazu and epidemiologist Antoni Trilla intervened, led by journalist Graziella, President of ANIS Almendral moderated, who left some interesting thoughts on immunity, viral replication or the implications of coronavirus mutation.

Ortiz de Lejarazu asserts that the history of the coronavirus will be the history of its variants. Viruses no longer mutate like they used to Those mutations it has are recombinant, that is, different combinations of the mutations it has expressed. It’s like a tribal war between Scottish tribes, the professor of microbiology at the University of Valladolid emphasizes in a humorous way that what is happening at the genetic level with SARS-CoV-2 has been going on for some time in the micron variants. It’s been almost two years. So far, no replacement has emerged.

immunity maintenance

We are in a transitional phase. The virus is still ahead of us.this is not over yetAntoni Trilla warned that he firmly believes that with the current immunity of more than 90% between vaccinated and infected people in Spain, we are likely to endure severe cases of the disease. However, it encourages vulnerable people to get vaccinated because it reminds the body that I can protect myself.

Both Trilla and Ortiz used the theory of original antigenic sin, or the Hoskins effect, to explain the importance of vaccines adapting to the latest variants, which is what Novavax sells. It refers to the immune system’s tendency to tap into its memory and respond to past remembered infections, even if the infection affecting it now is slightly different. Ortiz de Lejarazu explained that it produced many antibodies against the old virus and very few against the new one. In this sense, he questions the Spanish company Hipra’s vaccine because, as he says, it is made with the beta strain of the virus: just like if I had recommended a flu vaccine to my patients two years ago.

Immune people are less likely to infect others

Immunity against covid-19, whether through vaccine or infection, Not only does it reduce the chance of contracting the coronavirus, it also reduces the chance of transmitting it to third parties.According to a study by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the city’s main hospital complex, EFE news agency reported.

One in three people exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes covid-19 will contract the disease, but if immunized (through vaccine, infection, or a combination of the two) this rate drops to one in ten .

The study also noted that immunity wears off after a few months and that protection achieved through natural infection with the disease is in principle stronger but not as long-lasting as a vaccine and carries a greater risk of severe symptoms.

The study, published in the specialist journal Nature Communications, analyzed more than 50,000 covid-19 cases and 110,000 patient contacts registered in Geneva between 2020 and 2022, with the aim of assessing the rate of secondary infection (human-to-human transmission). disease in contacts) from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

last several months

Immunity greatly reduces the number of infected contactsThe study highlights, and warns, that in all cases, the effect wears off within a few months.

The study showed that factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status or obesity of study patients and contacts had little impact on the results.

Given the recent increase in cases, experts recommend temporarily betting on vaccines as a tool to limit contagion, but also opting for other simple and cheap public health measures in the event of a new wave, especially for professionals In terms of. and those who are elderly or have fragile health conditions.

The study authors concluded that ventilation and the use of masks in homes, offices and classrooms should be considered if we want to effectively reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

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