MOSCOW. To mark the launch of World Immunization Week, Dr. Anna Popova, head of Rospotrebnadzor, the Russian federal agency in charge of immunization, invited Elena Rostropovich, president of the RVF, to co-chair a discussion with leading healthcare providers in Moscow and the Moscow region on the importance of modern vaccines in protecting the general population, especially children, from serious vaccine-preventable infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and measles. Russian and international scientists made presentations on the “gaps” in the routine immunization schedule of children and the importance of counteracting the harmful disinformation about vaccines. Dr. Stanley Plotkin, the world-renowned vaccinologist and a board member of the RVF, made a presentation on the topic of vaccine hesitancy and the need to educate physicians and nurses to be stronger advocates of childhood immunization. Dr. Plotkin’s presentation with audio narration is available here.
The RVF, in partnership with Rospotrebnadzor, intends to put into practice lessons learned from the Moscow conference by creating a pilot program in the city of St. Petersburg to raise the awareness among health care providers and parents of the dramatic health benefits of immunization and vaccine safety. The pilot program is to serve as a replicable model for other major population centers of the Russian Federation.