In all regions of Russia this year, the so-called clean-up immunization against measles will be carried out. What is the essence of such vaccination and to whom specifically and why is it needed?
As the experience of the pandemic shows, people often react nervously to such calls. Many people are afraid of vaccinations more than the disease itself and do not understand well what it is for. To reduce such doubts, we explain the details of this process.
Measles is usually mild, why make so many problems around it?
“Indeed, some consider measles to be a fairly mild disease, but this is a mistake,” says aif.ru. infectious disease specialist, vaccination specialist, candidate of medical sciences, associate professor of the Department of Infectious Diseases in Children, Russian National Research Medical University named after N.I. Pirogova Ivan Konovalov. – Often, especially in adults, a hypertoxic form develops with a very high temperature, cardiovascular insufficiency, damage to the brain and its membranes (meningoencephalitis). There is a severe course with hemorrhages (bleeding). Measles can lead to blindness, pneumonia, secondary bacterial complications. Babies are very seriously ill in the first months of life, if the mother was not vaccinated and also did not get sick earlier – she did not transfer her antibodies to the newborn during childbirth. A few years after the infection, subacute measles sclerosing panencephalitis can develop, an incurable disease that causes paralysis and death.
For reference: at a time when there were no vaccines yet, measles was one of the main causes of death among infectious diseases. It gave way only to tuberculosis, smallpox and diphtheria. That’s a mild infection for you.
Not only labor migrants
It is reported that the clean-up vaccination will take place from March 3 to December 31 this year and will be carried out among the population and labor migrants. But in fact, the circle of people involved in this process will be wider. Indeed, in the resolution, regional authorities and health authorities are ordered to organize, among other things, work to identify persons “leading a nomadic and (or) semi-nomadic lifestyle and not having a place where they permanently or predominantly reside; forced migrants; migrants, including labor migrants.
The ruling also states that immunization will affect people “who do not have knowledge of measles vaccinations and have not had measles before.” But, as experience shows, this laconic definition does not describe many life situations that specific people may encounter. Therefore, we will try to clarify these issues and solve possible problems.
Who needs a second measles vaccination?
– to everyone who did not complete the full course of two vaccines in childhood (in childhood, the vaccine is administered twice – a year and at six years);
– all those who have not been vaccinated against measles at all;
– Anyone who hasn’t had measles.
If a person needs a second vaccination, at what age is it given?
– up to 36 years, the introduction of the vaccine is recommended for everyone;
– after 36 years – with a high probability of contacts, first of all – to health workers, transport workers, kindergartens and schools;
– after 55 years – only when in contact with patients.
If a person does not know whether he was vaccinated against measles or not?
There are difficult situations, not everyone remembers what vaccinations they received in childhood. Even parents can get confused by this. How to be in this case?
“All information about vaccinations is stored in a medical record or vaccination certificate,” Rospotrebnadzor clarifies. – If, for some reason, the information was not entered or the adult does not remember whether he was vaccinated, an antibody test should be taken. The level of antibodies can assess the presence of immunity against measles. If there are no antibodies, you need to get vaccinated. This will help protect your health and the health of your loved ones.
And if there is no way to check antibodies and the person does not remember whether he was vaccinated or not?
“In such cases, it’s better to just get vaccinated against measles,” advises Konovalov. “This does not pose a threat, even if a person has been fully vaccinated before or had measles: the existing protection will simply block the vaccine strain without any consequences. If a person says that they already had measles in childhood, it is important to understand that this is not a 100% accurate diagnosis. After all, no laboratory confirmation of measles had been performed before, and it is possible that he suffered another infection with a fever and a rash. When examined in the blood, he will not have specific antibodies against measles. Vaccination in such cases will be the best choice.
How many times is the vaccine administered in a clean-up vaccination?
“A full course of two doses three to six months apart is given if there is no information about whether a person has been vaccinated or not, and if he does not have protective antibodies in the blood,” says the vaccination specialist. “If the patient has been vaccinated and there are antibodies, but their level is insufficient, then the vaccine is administered once.”