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Sakhalin - two months before collective immunity to COVID-19

The Minister of Health of the island region, Vladimir Kuznetsov, told how Sakhalin defeats the infection.

Mass vaccination against coronavirus in Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands continues for just over a month, and during this time the region has made a leap forward. In just 30 days, 58 thousand people were vaccinated in the region - for comparison, over the previous six months, 87,5 thousand local residents received protection from covid. Sakhalin is on the way to building herd immunity, despite the fears with which the islanders initially greeted the launch of a universal vaccination campaign. Vladimir Kuznetsov, Minister of Health of the Sakhalin Region, told EastRussia about how doctors are fighting infection and with the fears of patients, convincing them to get vaccinated.

Sakhalin - two months before collective immunity to COVID-19
Photo: press service of the Ministry of Health of the Sakhalin Region

- Vladimir Vyacheslavovich, Sakhalin is now in 4th place in the Russian Federation in terms of the proportion of the vaccinated population, but the region is only seventh in terms of vaccination rate - we need another 2 months to form collective immunity in the population. What are the reasons for slow coverage and how is it dealt with?

- Today, there are quite hesitant people among the unvaccinated citizens. They doubt the correct choice in the direction of vaccination, including due to fake stuffing in social networks. We bring to the public up-to-date information on the number of unvaccinated cases, on the consequences of COVID-19 and dispel myths that circulate on the Internet. The main freelance children's infectious disease specialist in the Sakhalin region travels to the teams of various institutions and speaks about the importance and necessity of vaccination, gives examples from life. People listen and get vaccinated.

- Three vaccines against coronavirus are now presented in the Sakhalin region. These are Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona and KoviVak. That is, the population has the opportunity to choose what exactly to vaccinate against infection. How many people in the region have received each vaccine so far?    

- All deliveries of the vaccine to the regions are distributed by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. Currently, the Sakhalin Oblast has vaccines Gam-COVID-Vak (trade name Sputnik V) in sufficient quantities and Sputnik Light intended for vaccination of foreign citizens and for re-vaccination of those vaccinated six months ago. To date, 138 people have been vaccinated in the region with Sputnik V, 562 people with KoviVac, 2 with EpiVacKoronoy. CIS that work in the service sector. The first batch of this vaccine arrived in the region just for them. To obtain protection from a dangerous infection, you will need to administer just one injection. Vaccination for foreign citizens is paid, a little over a thousand rubles. We have already distributed two thousand doses of the vaccine to polyclinics, and people are actively signing up for vaccination.

- In the spring you said that in order to achieve a good rate of vaccination and to reach the rate of 60% of vaccinated people as soon as possible, XNUMX Sakhalin residents must be vaccinated daily. Now the region has reached this indicator. Is this the maximum power the medical community can give, or can doctors vaccinate more people every day?

- We are still trying to keep the pace that we had - about 2 thousand people a day. Our task is to make sure that everyone is protected from a dangerous infection. We are moving towards this. We have a sufficient supply of vaccines. Due to the active process of vaccination of the islanders, "Sputnik V" arrives in the region on a regular basis.

There are 98 vaccination points deployed in the region. Moreover, they also work on weekends. We have tried to create conditions for the inhabitants of the island so that it is convenient for them to choose the place and time when they can be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. For this, we have mobile vaccination complexes. Vaccination takes place in them without an appointment. The mass media constantly inform the population about the work schedule of vaccination points and about all movements of mobile vaccination complexes.

- The information has already been confirmed that at different ages a person will tolerate side effects from vaccination in different ways, and the difference is colossal: from mild fever and drowsiness to a broken state for several days. Let's take a closer look: how people in groups of 18-25 years old tolerate the vaccine; 26-40 years old; 40-55 years old; 60 and older. What age has the strongest immune response? Why?

- The body's response to vaccination, not only from COVID-19, is always individual. It is not only due to age, so I would not focus on this. Equally important is the state of the immune system and the general health of the human body. One at 60, for example, is in good health, another at the same age has a number of chronic diseases.

Usually, the reaction to the vaccine can be acute in young and physically developed people. Because their body has great strength to fight the viral vector that enters the body. We can say: the harder a person feels after being vaccinated against COVID-19, the more severe his illness would be if he got infected. But if after vaccination a person's temperature lasted a couple of days, this does not mean that in case of illness he would not be in intensive care. The effectiveness of the drug does not depend on how the body reacts. He may react violently or not.

Another point is important: in the first 3 days after vaccination, you should take care. The body's production of antibodies to coronavirus is an energy-consuming process. You do not need to overload yourself physically, you should refrain from drinking alcohol, going to the bathhouse. This also affects the tolerability of the vaccine.

- There is a small percentage of the population whose body does not respond to vaccination at all and does not form immunity from coronavirus. What solution do you recommend for them to vaccinate with a different vaccine? Re-vaccinate? Not to be vaccinated at all and beware?

- Yes, a small percentage of people may not develop immunity. However, this does not mean that the vaccination will be completely meaningless. Even in this case, after vaccination, a person will more easily endure the disease if he becomes infected.

- How many patients are now in Sakhalin hospitals who have contracted coronavirus after vaccination? In what form do they carry the disease? How does the clinical picture differ from that observed in the vaccinated?

- With vaccination you can get sick, but the disease is easier than in those who have not been vaccinated. We see it. We control the cases of coronavirus in vaccinated people at our own level. The Federal Ministry of Health is on its own, respectively. Patients who become ill with coronavirus after postponed vaccination are entered into a separate register.

Today, out of 986 people in inpatient treatment in the region, 17 people are being treated after vaccination - this is 1,7% of the total flow of inpatients. Moreover, 3 of them fell ill, having made only the first vaccination. In this case, immunity against infection has not yet formed. Most of the patients - 969 people - were not vaccinated.

- Vladimir Vyacheslavovich, a topical question for parents. How do children carry the coronavirus? What symptoms do they manifest, at what rate does the disease develop, what is the difference in the treatment method?

- There were no cases of coronavirus in the first wave of childhood cases. To date, there are such cases, including the development of pneumonia. In most cases, they are not severe, since the child's body has a very large reserve to fight infection. As for the symptoms of a viral infection, it can manifest itself as a fever, an unproductive cough. Weakness and nausea are sometimes observed. Older children are more likely to have sore throat, nasal congestion, decreased sense of smell, sometimes diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Some people carry the infection asymptomatically.

Clinical symptoms usually appear over a period of one to eight days. Recovery in mild to moderate cases averages 1–2 weeks. Complications of coronavirus infection develop more often in children with severe and chronic diseases.

- If we talk about treatment in general, how do Sakhalin doctors treat coronavirus in a hospital and under conditions of home supervision? Is it possible to freely buy medicines at a pharmacy and self-medicate?

- Treatment of patients with coronavirus infection depends on the course of the disease and many other related factors. I will not advertise these or those brands of drugs - I will only say that each of the drugs is prescribed individually, based on the clinical picture of each of the patients. As for the appointment of self-treatment, this should not be done with a coronavirus or with any other disease. And even more so, it is forbidden to drink antibiotics. Otherwise, instead of one health problem, you can get several more. There are serious side effects from taking antibiotics. With a mild and uncomplicated course of coronavirus infection, the use of antibiotics is not necessary. Only a doctor can determine this and prescribe therapeutic therapy. In addition, in the case of self-medication, you can remove bacteria in your body that will no longer be sensitive to antibiotic therapy.

As of July 30, 145 people were vaccinated against coronavirus in the Sakhalin Region, and the herd immunity rate rose to 604%. At the same time, fewer people were vaccinated per day in the region: from two thousand daily coverage decreased to 47-800 islanders. 1000 citizens are being treated for covid, 1 of them are being monitored in a hospital. The number of deaths has reached 765 since the start of the pandemic.

September 17: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
Digest of regional events and latest statistics