15 July 2019

Acute respiratory infections (hereinafter – ARI) are among the most common diseases in the world and are justifiably related to ubiquitous diseases. Every year, the share of ARI and flu accounts for more than 98% of infectious diseases registered in Minsk.

In order to ensure epidemiological well-being during the rise of influenza incidence, a vaccination campaign against influenza was conducted in September-November 2018, which resulted in that 40.5% of the population of the capital (over 728.6 thousand people) received specific protection against influenza.

The available scientific data and practical experience convincingly prove that, from the social  interests and each individual persons’ point of view, vaccination is an effective and safe, economically viable preventive measure.

Data on the incidence of influenza and ARI among the vaccinated and unvaccinated population during the period of intensification of respiratory viruses in 2018 – 2019 showed high efficiency of immunization against influenza: the efficiency index was 16.8,  i.e. the incidence of influenza among vaccinated individuals is 16.8 times lower than the incidence of non-vaccinated.

The vaccination carried out in 2018 prevented more than 50.9 thousand cases of influenza (including more than 6.1 thousand cases of complicated forms), more than 39.6 thousand cases of ARI of non-influenza etiology and prevented up to 126.8 thousand complaints of the population for outpatient care. Prevented economic damage due to vaccination among the population is estimated at an equivalent of $9.9 million. For every dollar invested, a profit of 8.7 dollars was received.

For reference. Prevented economic damage is the difference between the saved funds from the prevented incidence (funds that would have to be spent on treating the sick (outpatient and inpatient), social benefits, etc.) and the cost of vaccination expenses.

Also during the vaccination campaign of 2018, over 184 thousand children received protection against the flu. Vaccination allowed to prevent more than 14.1 thousand cases of influenza (including about 1.6 thousand cases of complicated forms that would require hospitalization) and about 17.6 thousand cases of ARI of non-influenza etiology.

Preventing cases of flu among children and adults leads to a decrease in the number of sources of infection, a decrease in the intensity of the spread of the influenza virus (especially in children's groups), a decrease in the risk of the pathogen being introduced into families and organized groups. These two mechanisms lead to a significant reduction in the incidence of influenza, a slight decrease in the number of cases of ARI.

Every year, enterprises and organizations in Minsk monitor the incidence of influenza and ARI of workers to assess the effectiveness of vaccination against influenza.

In 2018, more than 365 thousand workers were vaccinated against influenza. In some enterprises and organizations (with a workforce of 1000 people and more) for a number of years a high level of workers' immunization (40% and above) has been provided in the collectives: “MAZ” OJSC, “MTZ” OJSC, “Atlant” OJSC, “Kamunarka” OJSC,  “Bielmiedpreparaty” RUE, “Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant” OJSC, “MPZ” OJSC, “MMZ named after S.I. Vavilaŭ, the managing company of the BielOMA holding” OJSC and others.

The results of the monitoring of the incidence of workers show that vaccination of 40% or more in labor collectives can reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections and influenza in the epidemic season among those vaccinated 1.9-6.4 times compared to those not vaccinated.

In addition, it is noted that in the labor collectives of trade enterprises, mainly the individual protection of each vaccinated person works, since these collectives are regularly “replenished with new ones”, including those not vaccinated because of the specifics of work.

Preparatory work has now begun on organizing an influenza immunization campaign in 2019. In order to reduce the incidence of influenza and ARI, the severity of clinical manifestations and the number of complicated forms during the campaign in 2019, it is planned to vaccinate against influenza at least 40% of the population, including 32% of risk groups from budget sources.