In Macedonia, vaccines against whooping cough are available for adults, they will be free

Vaccination / photo Sloboden Pechat/Slobodan Djuric

The whooping cough situation in the country is under control, but it is not stable because there is still an increase in confirmed cases. So far, 56 cases have been confirmed, of which 14 are children under one year old, and 9 are children aged one to four years. Out of 56 total cases, 46 are from Skopje, 16 are unvaccinated and 12 incompletely vaccinated. This information was announced by the president of the Commission for Infectious Diseases, Aleksandar Petlichkovski. Unlike the last cut for this disease, there are now cases of adolescents from 10 to 14 years old as well as older patients with whooping cough, which has led health authorities to order pertussis vaccines for adults and will be given according to epidemiological indication. It is recommended to receive pregnant women and people living in households with a child up to one year old.

- There will probably be a change in the demographic structure of the positive cases in the coming weeks. We expect this disease to be confirmed more often in the elderly. I want to emphasize that our biggest concern as a health system is the prevention of the spread of infection among children under 1 year who are the most affected. The recommendation remains to make up for missed vaccine doses. The vaccination response until February 14 is 13 thousand children, which is a solid response. We are relatively satisfied with the vaccination response, but there are still thousands of children who should have been vaccinated, but have not been vaccinated, pointed out Professor Doctor Petlichkovski.

A guideline has already been drawn up by the Institute of Public Health on behavior and procedures during an epidemic and will be presented to the public by the end of the week. Petlichkovski announced that in the coming days the circumstances will be assessed to establish a state reference laboratory in which cases of pertussis from private laboratories will be confirmed.

The oldest patient with confirmed pertussis in Macedonia is 49 years old. Adult disease is not a serious disease and there is a cure available. Adults as carriers of small children are dangerous and therefore their protection with vaccines and antibiotics is recommended. There are no vaccines for adults at the moment, but we are very close to getting them, it is only a matter of days. Starting next week, we will be able to count on adult vaccines as well. That vaccine is the same one that is recommended for pregnant women, said Petlichkovski.

Vaccines provide immunity that lasts from 5 to 10 years.

-Adults under normal circumstances do not need to receive boosters. Those living in a community with small children under 1 should be protected with an extra dose to avoid passing the disease on to the babies. Vaccines according to epidemiological indication will be free for adults, announced Petlichkovski.

At the Infectious Diseases Clinic, there are no adults hospitalized with pertussis, but there are patients who require outpatient examinations.

- They have no symptoms, but pertussis was found in 8 of them in private laboratories with a PCR test, and we are asking the IJZ laboratory to confirm these results, said the director of the Infectious Disease Clinic, Dr. Fadil Cana.

The spokesperson of the Commission for Infectious Diseases, doctor Zlate Mehmedovic, says that there are a large number of infectious diseases in the region that are a concern for a long period of time. He reminded that 95 percent vaccination coverage will guarantee collective immunity.

- In Romania, there were a large number of reported cases of measles. The situation is escalating in Albania. Parents should be conscientious and vaccinate their children, that is the basic principle of protection. All accompanying measures are to mitigate the consequences of what is happening. Vaccinating adults is to prevent them from transmitting the pathogen to children. But if all children are vaccinated, adults will not transmit the pathogen to them, in this case the bacteria. The basic solution to any problem is vaccinating children. Then we won't talk about measles, nor pertussis, nor diphtheria as threats, no matter what happens in our environment, says doctor Mehmedovic.



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