Health, fundamental vaccination campaigns to avoid the “perfect storm”
Posted on October 02, 2022
ROME, Oct. 2 – The meeting took place this week at the headquarters of the Lazio region “Vaccination: a protective instrument for fragile patients“, organized by Dreamcom and with the unconditional contribution of various pharmaceutical companies, including, for yesterday’s event, Sanofi and Pfizer.
With the pandemic not yet over and Covid restrictions eased next winter, with the flu virus wave upon arrival is likely to turn into “perfect storm“if we don’t work for a vaccination campaign that covers as many of the population as possible, especially fragile patients.
The Lazio region’s health adviser, Alessio D’Amato, explained that the vaccination campaign in Lazio will start the first week of October and that it is “very important that people join in. We have made available general practitioners, pediatricians and pharmacies, who will be the backbone of this campaign with updated vaccines.The objective is to facilitate the widest participation of the adult population over 65, pediatric and fragile. In addition to the flu vaccine, there are vaccines against shingles, which is very important for the population over 65, but also vaccination against pneumococcus”. For Commissioner D’Amato, “during the pandemic, the Lazio model worked because it had the merit of uniting forces and people interested in building a network capable of creating a system for the good of public health” .
“To obtain excellent results, a vaccination campaign must focus on the communication and dissemination of a vaccine culture which has made great progress in recent years.“, he recalled Roberto Ieraci (Scientific Coordinator of the Lazio Region Vaccination Campaign). “In Lazio, an important effort has been made on the prevention of vaccination, which remains a specific objective that public health must aim for. Prevention means improving the quality of life of people and this can also go through the digitization of the health, with a system of regional reminders also integrated at the level of family doctors, in addition to the use of social networks. The help of general practitioners – recalled Ieraci – is strategic and indispensable. In the Covid 2021 campaign, out of 1.6 million inoculated doses, 1.3 million were administered by family physicians”.
Doctors and pediatricians, but also pharmacies which during the Covid represented a health center of great importance for the citizens. As he pointed out Eugenio Leopardi (President of Federfarma Lazio), “Vaccination in pharmacies was requested by the State during the pandemic to support the emergency. In Lazio, one in three pharmacies has become a place of administration of the Covid vaccine and we believe that we can provide significant support in a year like this where there is a risk of inattention towards the fourth dose”.
“Especially for fragile patients – he says Maria Serena Fiore (Elected President of Fadoi Lazio) – we know how important prevention is with vaccines compared to just the flu which implies for these subjects a risk of stroke eight times higher than the average and a loss of autonomy equal to 15% in elderly patients. All this implies a loss of autonomy, a drop in the quality of life and a high cost for the National Health System, if we consider that among patients over 65, 74% have at least one chronic disease. . From this point of view, in Lazio there is the possibility of using the high-dose quadrivalent vaccine for fragile patients and we must convince patients to do so”.
Investing in prevention is also save costs for NHS management. A thesis supported by Americo Cicchetti (Director of the Altems Catholic University of the Sacred Heart), who reiterated how important it is “it is essential to achieve the minimum target of 75% coverage. Resource allocation policies must be reviewed: we must not worry about how much a vaccine costs today but what it is worth tomorrow with the protective effects it produces. There is a lot of research and innovation in the vaccine industry that needs to be harnessed as much as possible. The economic balance will be saved by redirecting resources towards prevention rather than treatment”.
That of family doctors has been a decisive contribution during the pandemic because in Lazio “a network of services has moved, which has made it possible to achieve the objectives set“, He reaffirmed Pierluigi Bartoletti (Provincial Secretary and Deputy National Secretary of FImmg), who underlined how “the next vaccination campaign is fundamental precisely because it comes after the years of restrictions for the Covid, which with the distancing had partly prevented the spread of viruses”.
In addition to general practitioners, pediatricians also intervened who, as he explained Teresa Rongai (Provincial Secretary FIMP Rome), “already in the year before Covid, we had vaccinated 118,000 children, increasing from 2% to 50% of pediatricians available to administer the doses in their doctors’ offices. The pediatrician who recommends vaccination is always a hit in the family because he can talk to his parents. We too are short of staff and that is why we organize ourselves into functional aggregations between colleagues, to make up for the lack of staff. Following a thousand children to a pediatrician is complicated.
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