Morshinsky experiment: "There is a chance, that a normal life will begin "
In the resort Morshyn Lviv region 16 April launched a pilot project of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Mass vaccination of citizens against COVID-19 is carried out here, planned to be vaccinated with CoronaVac vaccine 70% adults.
Initially, the experiment was supposed to last until 1 May, then it was extended until the 13th, and since last Friday, the townspeople began to carry out revaccination. However, the Ministry of Health allowed Morshintsy to be vaccinated with the first dose., since there is enough vaccine for all residents.
Ukrinform learned, how did the idea of large-scale vaccination in a small resort town come about?, what is needed for this and how, actually, this massive campaign is underway.
city Morshyn – balneological resort of Ukraine with 1878 year, it is famous for its mineral waters and sanatoriums not only in our country, but also abroad. However, with the pandemic, resort life stopped here..
“We've heard of herd immunity, about the attempt of resort cities and even entire countries to vaccinate people as soon as possible to the indicator 70%. Therefore, they turned to the government. Morshyn – resort town, and it is very important for us, so that there is safety for the local population, and for vacationers. And so economically, we would revive a little. because 2/3 the economy of our city is in one way or another connected with the spa activities”, – says the city chairman Morshina Ruslan Ilnitsky.
According to the mayor, they appealed to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal, arguing the need for such an experiment, and received support. The head of the government gave an order to the Ministry of Health and the Lviv Regional State Administration, and after a week of communications with the authorities, Morshin became the first city, who got the opportunity of mass vaccination in Ukraine.
According to the Ministry of Health, in total lives in Morshyn 4239 person, 800 of them – children before 18 years. At the beginning of the pilot project, 16 April, in the town 361 an adult has already received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine under the national vaccination program from the Ministry of Health. Therefore, to create 70% the immune layer among the residents of Morshyn needed to be vaccinated more 2155 person. For this, the Ministry of Health has allocated 2400 doses of CoronaVac vaccine."Employees of the Morshynsky City Council and KNP" Morshinsky City Hospital "analyzed demographic indicators, the state of incidence of COVID-19 and the volume of vaccinations already carried out and determined, that mass vaccination will create 70% immune layer ", – told the Director of the Department of Health of the Lviv Regional State Administration Orest Chemeris.
“In a month we have reached 63% and vaccination with the first dose continues, and already from Friday, revaccination with the second dose began, which more than 100 person. Besides, according to the operational data of our family doctors, over the past two weeks have been ill about 15% of the population. therefore, if it can be summed up like that, we should have already achieved the desired result. We did not mark ourselves in 70%, the Ministry of Health did it. I know, which WHO recognizes 60% vaccination - this is already a prerequisite for the creation of herd immunity. I heard, that in Israel after 50% began to loosen quarantine, take off masks, etc.. Today we were allowed to vaccinate and a second, and the first doses, so I think, that we will pick up those 8%, even though it, as it turned out, not so easy" – Ilnitsky told.
To vaccinate the population in Morshyn, there are two stationary vaccination stations on the basis of the city central hospital and a mobile team from the Stryi district hospital, which vaccinates organized groups of the population, e.g. sanatorium workers.
The mobile team travels to certain enterprises and institutions, where he is vaccinated directly on the spot. So, organized collective vaccination was carried out at Morshinsky Mineral Water Plant Oscar PJSC, KP "Green City", ПЖКГ, KP "Morshinteploenergo", KNP "Morshynska City Hospital", sanatorium "Morshinsky", Hotel “St.. Sharbel ”, SE CCM "Morshinkurort", sanatorium "Arcadia", sanatorium "Marble Palace", Hotel "Bogdan", other small accommodation establishments, Preschool educational institution number 2 "Sun", NEC "Secondary School Lyceum", School of arts, Morshyn City Council, etc..
“We have identified four health workers, who sit on the phone and remind, what you need to come for revaccination. They even called me, spoke, so as not to forget to come 14 May. And I'm in 8 morning, before work, was vaccinated with CoronaVas for the second time ", – says Yukshinsky.As the head of the Morshyn city hospital said Gennady Yukshinsky, at stationary points people come at a certain time, which they are informed about by phone. This was the case with the first dose, and so on, who has already passed after that 28 days, report a second time.
The doctor adds, that it was difficult for the project to organize the citizens to vaccinate. The main problem was the lack of awareness of people about the vaccine, its actions and consequences after vaccination.
Mayor Morshin agrees with him, which notes, that thanks to the support of the Ministry of Health and the LOGA, it was possible to develop a lot of advertising and information materials: flyers, tents, big-boards, posters, which were hung around the city and in the entrances. The city council and doctors actively communicated on social media about the importance of vaccinations.
“It helped us a lot, that we started our project three days after, how the CoronaVas vaccine arrived in Ukraine. Immediately, the first information from specialist epidemiologists was analyzed for quotes and delivered to our residents ", – Ilnitsky told.
Some of the people very actively went to be vaccinated in the first days of the project - these are, who was waiting for vaccination. The others paused and watched, what will be the reaction, communicated, consulted, in particular with family doctors. In this way, managed to vaccinate in two weeks 42%. Further, the process slowed down, people made decisions carefully and with caution, and s 1 by 13 May come to be vaccinated 15%. For today 7% residents of the city refused to immunize.
“People from other cities are calling, ask, is it possible to come to you to be vaccinated, and tourists, who rest in Morshyn, but we have all the doses calculated. That's just left yet 1500 for revaccination”, – says the director of the city hospital.
This experiment continues. As told in the Department of Health of the Lviv Regional State Administration, after vaccination of the population with the second dose of vaccine, specialists and experts of the Ministry of Health will monitor and analyze the situation with morbidity in the city.
“After that we will be able to speak, how effective is this experiment, how much we managed to achieve herd immunity. I think, that it will be a positive experience not only for us, but also for the whole Ukraine ", – noted Chemeris.
City chairman Morshina is optimistic about, what is the impression, that the pilot project is already living up to expectations, because now in the city only six residents are sick with coronavirus, while a month ago their number reached 25-27 person (these are not new cases, which are detected in a day, and the total amount for a specific day). City officials hope, that in a few weeks there will be no patients at all, and tourists will return for treatment and rest in the Morshyn sanatorium.
"The situation with vacationers, actually, is closely related to this pilot project of mass vaccination of townspeople. This is what I appealed to, addressing the prime minister of Ukraine, who listened and gave the go-ahead. Because here Morshin is very dependent on the spa activities, medical tourism – this 80% filling the city budget. And it was all in a big crisis ", – Ilnitsky told.
Mayor adds, that the situation has changed now: are already booking places in sanatoriums, hotels, there are arrivals. The largest enterprise "Morshinkurort", which brings together 5 sanatoriums, opened a hydropathic establishment, where they provide unique medical services during inpatient treatment. “We have a chance, that a normal life will begin ", – the mayor adds with a smile.
Ruslan Ilnitsky also emphasizes that, that even when the planned full mass vaccination is carried out in the city, and the country will continue to maintain generally accepted anti-epidemic measures, such as mask, distance, disinfectant, temperature screening – city authorities will require tourists to comply with safety rules during a pandemic.