Sep 16, 2020
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Flu shot: pros and cons

Flu shot: pros and cons

Doctors said that very soon each of us can get sick with a deadly combination of coronavirus and flu, so ignoring the flu vaccine today is more dangerous than ever. But there are no queues for a free procedure anywhere.

The information-analytical portal "World of novostei" tried to figure out why people refuse the saving injection.

Early September, Belorusskaya metro station. A mobile vaccination station, or rather just a medical car, has been standing near the entrance to the subway in the morning. Nearby is a table where it is proposed to draw up the necessary documents.

The metro "spits out" another batch of passengers who quickly skip past the vaccination machine. People in white coats look after them sadly. In almost an hour, only two people approached the table. They asked some questions, turned around and left.

“I did it once, got sick immediately after vaccination. What is the point of being vaccinated if you get sick after it? " - says our casual interlocutor.

“My husband was doing this vaccination and was ill then all year,” another passer-by argued that the procedure was unnecessary.

The doctor from the mobile vaccine recklessly assured her that he probably fell ill in the clinic while he was sitting in the queue for the vaccination, but a small group of curious people clearly did not believe these arguments.

Leonid Ogloblin is the chief physician of one of the private clinics. He admits that the flu vaccine is widely considered ineffective due to the constant mutation of the virus.

“The difficulty in developing an influenza vaccine is due to the fact that the virus of this disease undergoes mutation. New strains can differ significantly from the original. Vaccination against one strain does not protect against disease for another, so the risk of infection increases significantly, ”the doctor says, explaining why people get sick even after an injection.

The second reason why Russians refuse to vaccinate is doubts about the quality of domestic drugs. These conversations are confirmed by the doctors themselves. The director of one of the private clinics, Alexei Paramonov, told reporters that the domestic drugs "Grippol" and "Sovigripp" contain a small amount of the main substance for the vaccine - the antigen.

“Instead, they have immunomodulators that are poorly understood. These vaccines are available free of charge in polyclinics and vaccination points near the metro, ”he said.

Officials insist that a flu shot must be done urgently, already in September. President of the Union of Pediatricians of Russia Leyla Namazova-Baranova said that otherwise there is a risk of contracting coronavirus and flu at the same time.

“COVID-19 has not gone anywhere, there are already publications describing patients who get coronavirus at the same time as the flu. The more people already get vaccinated against influenza, the fewer such severe cases of simultaneous infections will be, ”the expert urges.

But American researchers, on the contrary, said that a flu shot increases the risk of coronavirus by 36%. This was allegedly reported by representatives of the Pentagon, who specifically studied this issue. But here's the interesting thing: imported drugs, which are considered much more reliable, are very difficult to find today.

“Foreign influenza vaccines are practically not used on the Russian market due to the fact that only domestic vaccines are involved in government procurement. The imported ones get only the commercial market, but it is small and this is unprofitable, ”explained Alexey Paramonov.

Pharmacies are also reluctant to buy imports. “Pharmacy chains, in principle, take poorly for the sale of vaccines. This is a special type of drugs with a very limited shelf life and, moreover, requiring special storage conditions. The head of the Pharmacy Guild, Elena Nevolina, explained.

This year, even merchants will have imports only by November.

“Vaccines against influenza live for one year - each season, on the recommendation of WHO, their composition changes. Therefore, unused residues during the vaccination campaign are destroyed. And then a new batch is purchased, ”explains doctor Leonid Ogloblin.

Now commercial medical centers are vaccinated with domestic vaccines - almost the same ones that are used in clinics, but only their cost ranges from 800 to 3000 rubles. This caused a fierce controversy on social media.

“Officials and businessmen need to have time to sell their vaccines before the imported ones are delivered. So they are in a hurry. It's just a market, competition, ”writes medical blogger Yegor Kudryashov. Someone disagrees with him.

“The situation was the same last year and the year before. European manufacturers then openly admitted that the supply of vaccines to Russia was delayed due to their fault, "the defenders of the Russian health care answer, stressing that in November vaccination should come to an end and there is simply no time to wait for the import. But most of the frightened users clearly don't know what to do.

Georgy Vikulov, Director of Scientific Research Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Infections LLC:

- I would not say that foreign vaccines have any advantage. The effectiveness of domestic vaccines is no worse, there is simply a certain bias against them. Although Russian vaccines are purchased by other countries and are actively used abroad.

In the current epidemic season, the relevance of vaccination is increasing, since there are already described forms of a combination of influenza and COVID-19 infections, which in this situation are more difficult. Immunoprophylaxis, especially in risk groups, creates an immune layer and prevents the development of complications and deaths.

Alexander Saversky, President of the All-Russian public organization "League of Patients Defenders":

- There are useful and safe vaccines, such as tetanus. There are quite harmful and dangerous ones. And there are senseless. These are, in particular, flu vaccines. The only studies that, at the very least, confirm the effectiveness of vaccination, concerning people over the age of 65. There is no other evidence of effectiveness at all. The same goes for Russian vaccines. Now we have an undeclared economic war with the whole world, during which we produce everything that is domestic. What quality it is obtained is, alas, a secondary question. Although it is a pity, because the same doctors swear strongly about this.

Igor Gundarov, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Specialist in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine:

- There is a clear list of requirements for vaccination. It says that prophylactic vaccinations must take place in vaccination and medical rooms with strict observance of sanitary and other regulatory requirements. When vaccinating at the metro, it is impossible to meet all the standards.

In addition, before vaccination, a person needs to be examined: check breathing, skin, abdominal tone, liver, listen to heart sounds, and so on. Next, you need to monitor the well-being of a person half an hour after vaccination, because anything is possible. Here the person put the vaccine in, got on the subway and left, who will follow him? This is a gross violation of the standards for the vaccination procedure.

Natalia Purtova.

Photo: agency "Moscow".

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