BRATISLAVA, Nov. 13, 2018 (WBN / PR) – Children, adults, pregnant women, travelers, people at highest risk of infection and professionals facing infectious diseases – all need vaccination to protect their health and life. If the protection of the population from vaccination fails, there are epidemics – as was the recent mosquito epidemic in eastern Slovakia in May 2018. It is evidence that the drop in vaccination would cause a serious and ill-considered public health threat, an unnecessary disease and death.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the biggest threats to health were infectious and parasitic diseases, which most often required the lives of infants and children. Since the introduction of vaccination, life expectancy has increased by 15 to 25 years. An extension of life is expected and the evidence suggests that it has contributed significantly to the management of the disease due to vaccination. Vaccination today can prevent further infectious diseases and on the horizon are new vaccines with potential to prevent other infectious diseases. Mass vaccination programs have proven to be successful in controlling or even eliminating the disease. History shows that reducing vaccine coverage is paving the way for a recurrence of the disease in a population that has already been protected. With a stable and high inoculum cover, the disease disappears and some may be completely extinct. Despite the undoubted success of vaccination efforts, 1.5 million people die annually from diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. According to the WHO, vaccines will be the most important tool to reduce the high morbidity and mortality permanently associated with influenza pandemics. Each year, approximately 3.5 million people are infected with influenza, resulting in up to 650,000 deaths. In 1990, communicable diseases accounted for 33% of all deaths, in 2010 they were only 25%.
In addition to being able to prevent death and suffering, vaccines are one of the most profitable health investments available. Vaccination greatly reduced the economic burden on the company with infectious diseases. In addition to protecting lives and reducing disability, vaccination can also ease the pressure on health systems, thanks to visits to doctors and hospitalizations; and also reduce downtime and the cost of loss productivity caused by various diseases. Vaccination can help prevent communicable infectious diseases. It prevents them from being transferred between people and expanding into the population. Some people can not be protected by vaccination. For example, children who are too young to be vaccinated, people with a weakened immune system that is incompatible with all conditions after receiving the vaccine, and those who are too sick to receive the vaccine (for example, cancer patients). Vaccination can provide "collective protection" also for those who can not be vaccinated. The main component of vaccines are antigens, the active principle of vaccines. It stimulates / stimulates the immune system to create immunity. The adjuvants are similar in function. They promote stimulation of the immune system. Together they form the active ingredient in the vaccine. Vaccines may also contain very small amounts of other substances that do not stimulate the immune system and therefore are inactive. They are of secondary importance and include, in particular, antibiotics, preservatives and stabilizers. The antigen is administered to the body in a vaccine (vaccine) in various forms, such as attenuated live virus particles, dead virus particles, or only parts of viruses, surface bacterial antigens, or antigens found within bacteria.
In Slovakia, compulsory and optional vaccination is available. Required to be vaccinated against ten diseases, optionally against another thirteen diseases, of which 4 are vaccine traps. Vaccination of children against diphtheria, tetanus, blackheads, polio, hepatitis B virus, and hemophiliac invasive diseases is mandatory in regular mandatory vaccines, as well as vaccination against measles, rheumatism and rubella. As part of regular mandatory vaccines, adults need to be vaccinated against diphtheria and tetanus.
The vaccination schedule is developed by experts based on professional knowledge, years of experience, disease incidents in SR and neighboring countries, recommendations of ECDC – European Center for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO – World Health Organization. The most successful preventive program in Slovakia is National Immunization Program. Its purpose is to protect public health by reducing disease, eliminating and eradicating communicable diseases and ensuring effective and safe immunization of children and adults.
Each decrease in vaccination reduces the effect of collective protection, which means increasing the risk of epidemics and threatening the most vulnerable. It does not matter that you do not have to vaccinate against diseases that do not occur! Collective protection is also important for national security. Free movement of persons within the EU and increased migration affect the safety and health of Slovaks. The vaccination rate of children against measles in Slovakia fell below 95% in four regions: Bratislava, Trenčiansky, Banskobystrický and Košický. One of the unpleasant consequences was this year's measles epidemic in eastern Slovakia, when it affected 428 people!
If one parent does not refuse mandatory child vaccination without showing doctors or other serious physicians, he will be fined a total of 331 euros. Compulsory vaccination, however, imposes no penalties for its refusal, but the prevention of contagious diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. Compulsory vaccination is available to all children in Slovakia and is covered by public health insurance. Due to the strict observance of the vaccination obligation, Slovakia has so far achieved a high degree of vaccination and therefore protection of the population against diseases included in compulsory vaccinations.
An important period in which vaccination is needed is also pregnancy. Female immunity and the functioning of your body undergo a series of changes during pregnancy, which facilitates the emergence of infectious diseases. Before pregnancy, the woman should have all the necessary vaccines to help protect her and the baby. Live vaccines should be given at least one month before the planned pregnancy. Of greatest importance is vaccination against young offspring if your spouse does not survive. Non-live vaccines may also be given immediately prior to pregnancy and, if necessary, during pregnancy. All pregnant women should be vaccinated against influenza every year from October to December and vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and black cough (dTap) at the 28th to 37th week of gestation. In pregnancy, influenza can cause serious complications for the mother and the fetus, including death. In 2009, 6 pregnant women died of pandemic influenza in SARI in Slovakia, which was up to 46.15% of cases! Direct transmission of mother-child flu during pregnancy is rare, but it is the cause of a miscarriage in the first trimester. The flu virus is causing the neural tube. Maternal influenza is associated with a fourfold increase in fetal neoplasm – fetal tumors when their absolute numbers are low. Sons of mothers with superinfected influenza are lagging behind during childhood. Postpartum vaccination is also important for both mother and child. An inoculated mother reduces the risk of infecting the baby. Getting pregnant soon after delivery is safe for the mother, even if she is breastfeeding. A woman who has not been vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria and black cough during pregnancy should be vaccinated immediately after birth if she has not been vaccinated in the last five years.
Groups of persons who are or were at increased risk of infection are required to be vaccinated in Slovakia in cases selected in accordance with the Slovak Ministry of Health Decree 585 of 10.12. 2008, which details the prevention and control of communicable diseases. These are, for example, people who came in contact with the disease for tuberculosis, meningitis or viral hepatitis A. Compulsory vaccines are also people living in a common home with a person with hepatitis B, and against rabies forcing people to vaccinate contact with animal beasts. Anti-pneumococcal infections are mandatory for people to be placed in social service homes.
There are also professions in which certain vaccines are mandatory. Vaccines against tuberculosis are, for example, some doctors, laboratory workers or asylum workers. Epidemiologists, soldiers, members of the prison guards and judicial corps, firefighters and others are vaccinated against hepatitis A. Against hepatitis B, teachers of health schools, social service officials, labor offices, social affairs and families, city halls, children's facilities for social and legal protection, and social welfare staff await the hepatitis B vaccine. Vaccination against anger is mandatory for employees of virological laboratories dealing with rabies virus, staff of remediation facilities who are at direct risk of infection; and sharks. Vaccination against tick-borne inflammation is mandatory for staff from virological laboratories working with tick-type inflammation virus. Other vaccines are recommended for other groups of people and professionals.
Slovakia has entered into commitments with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which is the development of the immunization program and its financial sustainability. Vaccination is part of the European Antibiotic Resistance Program. The state has a responsibility for citizens, especially for the health of children, the elderly and marginalized groups. It is our duty to protect our health in this way too!