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A/H1N1 flu rate in Russia up to 4,563
The Russian Health and Social Development Ministry did not expect such a large demand for flu masks, Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Tuesday.
“The ministry and the producers admit that we were not prepared for such a large demand,” she said.
“The Industry and Trade Ministry and us are considering the possible production of flu masks at light industry factories in order to meet the demand,” Golikova said.
A reserve of flu masks will be made to cover the deficit at peak moments, she added.
The cold and flu situation in Russia keeps within seasonal parameters. There is an epidemic in 17 constituents and in 23 cities, Golikova said.
“The cold and flu death rate does not exceed last year’s indicator. Unfortunately, we had a high pneumonia mortality rate in the past,” she said.
A total of 439 Russians died of cold and flu in January-September 2009, she said.
The total A/H1N1 flu rate in Russia has reached 4,563, Golikova said. Some 1,454 Russians are being sick with A/H1N1 flu at present, she added.
Law enforcers will be inoculated against A/H1N1 flu, Golikova said.
She said they were expecting applications from law enforcement agencies this week.
The A/H1N1 flu inoculation started in five Russian regions on November 9. They received 500,000 doses of the vaccine. The Kaluga, Tambov, Kursk, Oryol, Rostov and Astrakhan regions, Adygeya, Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Kalmykia will join the inoculation program next week.
The inoculation was given to personnel of strategic services (public utilities, transport and so on). The inoculation of doctors and students will be held in the second turn. People with chronic diseases and children will come next.
“We recommend law enforcers the inoculation with live and inactivated vaccine,” Golikova said.
The vaccine will be sent to the Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Emergency Situations Ministry and the Border Service.
“Border guards, who contact plenty of people at checkpoints, will be inoculated in the near future,” the minister promised.
Clinical tests of the vaccine confirmed its safety, the minister said.
The live vaccine is recommended for absolutely healthy people, because it is stronger than inactivated. People with chronic diseases and children will be inoculated with inactivated vaccine.
“No one should worry about possible complications,” she noted.
A/H1N1 flu vaccine production has been sped up, Deputy Health and Social Development Minister Veronika Skvortsova said on the Ekho Moskvy radio in the previous week.
The Federal Consumer Rights and Human Well Being Service registered another two domestic A/H1N1 flu vaccines on October 18.
“The Expert Council discussed results of clinical tests of the Mona Grippol and Mona Grippol Neo vaccines made by Petrovax,” the service said. The vaccines are based on the flu strain recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Judging by the clinical tests, both vaccines have high acceptability and security,” the service said.
The vaccines were registered and could be used for the inoculation of adults, the service said.
The Expert Council also discussed post-registration monitoring of all the new flu vaccines. Pharmaceutical industry representatives pledged to produce the vaccines on time.
The Microgen federal state unitary enterprise of the Russian Health and Social Development Ministry is the vaccine producer.
Microgen press secretary Timofei Peshkov told Itar-Tass in early October that the enterprise’s Ufa and Irkutsk sites had been preparing for the production.
The inoculation will be held in November-December, and 40 million doses of the domestic flu vaccine will be ready by January.
Russia’s first A/H1N1 flu vaccine was produced at the Immunopreparat pharmaceutical plant in Ufa, Bashkortostan, plant press secretary Guzel Yusupova told Itar-Tass earlier. She said the vaccine was called Pandeflu.
“Experimental series of Pandeflu had been tested at the plant’s quality control department for sterility, toxicity, pyrogenicity, safety and antigen stress. The vaccine was sent to the Moscow Tarasevich Medicine and Biological Control and Standardization Institute for clinical tests on volunteers,” she said.
“The vaccine produced by Immunopreparat will comply with GMP international standards. It was based on the strain received from the National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, USA. Standards of the British National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) were applied in the project,” Yusupova said.
The Federal Consumer Rights and Human Well Being Service has officially permitted the Flu Research Institute to use in the innovative Russian flu preparations, Ingaron and Alfaron, in the treatment of flu, including ‘bird’ influenza (H5N1) and A/H1N1, Kiselyov said.
“The preparations are particularly efficient in the therapy of various clinical forms of flu, and in case of preventive treatment in the period of the seasonal increase of the cold and flu rate,” he said.
“The Russian designers of the A/H1N1 flu vaccine, Ingaron and Alfaron, will present their products at the WHO forum in Geneva in November 2009. The Flu Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences based in St. Petersburg owns the technology, and the Farmalon pharmaceutical plant based in the Moscow region is the producer,” Kiselyov said.
Russian Chief Public Health Official Gennady Onishchenko said that the A/H1N1 flu season ended in the southern hemisphere without mutations. “The virus did not change, so the majority of virologists believed it was not highly pathogenic. Let us be patient and see how the virus behaves in the northern hemisphere, including Russia,” Onishchenko said.
The federal government assigned four billion rubles for the flu vaccine.