The pandemic has brought vaccines back into focus as strategic and determined tools for public health. But in addition to the fundamental vaccination campaign against Covid, the institutions and the scientific world are looking at the immunization of the frail and immunosuppressed adult patient. “We wanted to define a calendar linked to fragility and immunosuppression, which is very widespread and varied”, said the president of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit), Marcello Tavio, who today presented a scientific paper during the webinar ‘Adult vaccination: innovations beyond Covid-19 and Simit recommendations‘, organized by Aristea, with the non-conditioning contribution of GSK.
The consensus document aims to create a calendar for adult patient vaccinations with particular attention to people with chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular and respiratory, diabetes, renal failure. “Compared to the national vaccine plan – said Tavio – we have focused more on the adult, for whom we have declined various frailties and related to each of these the most suitable vaccinations on the basis of the present comorbidity. This consensus project on vaccination is promoted by Simit but wants to involve all ‘experts’ – he specified – from the hygienic specialists to the Ministry of Health, to the Higher Institute of Health and to general practitioners “.
“The National Vaccine Prevention Plan establishes uniform criteria and a common offer on the national territory – he highlighted Laura Sticchi, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa – and the recommendations of the ministry must be translated into a contextualized offer in the various realities. Communication channels between the specialists who treat the patient and the operators of the vaccination services are useful in this sense. This not only to sensitize the patient to vaccination but, since it is an increasingly tailor-made tool, also to indicate the most suitable vaccination path for each patient. Our document therefore reiterates the recommendations for vaccinations, through the collaboration of multiple disciplines”.
The presentation of the document was also an opportunity to talk about the new vaccine for shingles, already used in the United States with over 38 million doses administered which, according to experts, in addition to being an advantage for patients, represents a benefit for the entire national health system, because it can be administered in immunosuppressed patients, frequently affected by the infection.
“Herpes Zoster represented, especially in immunocompromised patients, an ‘unmeet medical needs’, that is an absolute need”, highlighted Massimo Andreoni, scientific director Simit. “The vaccine available up to now was a live attenuated virus, not usable in immunosuppressed patients. The new subunit vaccine is a very important step forward, given that Zoster is a very frequent disease in the adult population and with serious complications, so much so that among the after-effects he also has neuralgia that can last for months or years. Have a safe vaccine that will ensure protection from reactivation from the varicella zoster virus – he concluded – represents an important novelty, which has encouraged Simit to give life to this consensus ”.