Posted 22 декабря 2022, 08:22
Published 22 декабря 2022, 08:22
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
The 2022-2023 cold season dealt a triple blow to the health of citizens. People continue to get sick with coronavirus, but now a no less dangerous flu has activated, in addition, there is a whole bunch of respiratory viruses that usually come in winter. In most regions of the country, the dominance of influenza over other viruses is noted, the number of cases is growing, schools are being quarantined or sent ahead of schedule for holidays.
According to scientists, the flu virus has gained momentum this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the past two years, we have not been in contact with other pathogens, except for the coronavirus, and immunity to them has weakened.
“We see an increase in the incidence of influenza in the world, and in our country in particular”, - says the director of the Research Institute of Influenza. A.A. Smorodintseva Dmitry Lioznov, - for two years, the global population of the Earth practically did not suffer from other respiratory infections. We had isolated cases of influenza at this time. Last year, there was even an epidemic of influenza, but it quickly faded away, it was replaced by the Omicron strain of coronavirus. Therefore, we have not formed natural immunity. Until 2020, we were in contact with different viruses all the time. And every encounter with the virus builds immunity”.
Influenza, as well as has its own risk groups, for whom the disease is most dangerous. This is the older generation, children under 2 years old, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases. According to doctors, cases are recorded when people get the flu and coronavirus at the same time, which is doubly difficult and dangerous.
“There are such cases, and we see that in risk groups with a combined infection, the course is more severe, but this is influenced by a large complex of factors, a severe course is observed not only with influenza and covid, but also with simultaneous influenza and other respiratory infections”, - says Dmitry Lioznov, - in, if you study this issue on models, or on animals. It clearly shows that co-infection with influenza and covid is more severe and this should be paid attention to. At the same time, studies both in humans and at the level of models show that those who are vaccinated against influenza tolerate the combination with covid more easily”.
Scientists insist that the best way to protect against complications and death is vaccination. But the experience of the pandemic has shown that the coronavirus vaccine can be difficult to tolerate. If we add the flu vaccine to it, and if we add the pneumococcal vaccine, which is recommended to pensioners as protection against pneumonia? How safe is it to give three vaccines at once?
Dmitry Lioznov from the Research Institute of Influenza assures that there will be no negative health effects.
“There is no threat to the body here, the world is on the path of combining vaccines”, - he says, “young parents know the DTP vaccine - this is protection against five infections at once. The introduction of multiple antigens is safe and convenient. Just by being in a room with people, we get several times more antigens from them than from a vaccine”.
Many people know that the flu vaccine is created from scratch every year, based on a forecast of the strains that will circulate that year. For a long time, scientists have been struggling to create a universal vaccine that would be suitable for all strains of influenza and would be given every 3-5 years. But the timing of the creation of this drug is only shifting. According to Daria Danilenko, Deputy Director of the Influenza Research Institute for Research, the WHO now expects this vaccine by 2027.
“We don't know yet whose vaccine it will be”, - she says. “It's a competition between science and commerce. But there is already an idea to create a pan-coronavirus vaccine that would cover different strains of coronavirus or pan-ARVI against a wide range of pathogens, but so far even the flu has not been dealt with, this is still a dream”.
But what is more realistic is the combination of flu and coronavirus vaccines in one ampoule. The Influenza Research Institute is working on this drug and, according to Dmitry Lioznov, the second stage of testing has already been completed.
“Our drug is based on a weakened influenza virus, it has an effect against influenza A, in addition, there is the genetic material of the covid-19 pathogen,” he said, “we are finishing the second stage of clinical trials. We are waiting for reports in January. But we see a positive effect. The drug works and gives a minimum number of side effects. Someone's shoulder itches, someone's injection spot is bigger than it should be. Next year we look forward to a more global phase of research on a wider range of patients”.
Phase 3 trials of the drug are expected to be completed in 2023.