Benefits of vaccination in adulthood

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Over the past few decades, life expectancy has increased in most countries. Most of the world’s population has it Life expectancy is equal to or greater than 60 yearsso all countries are experiencing an increase in both number and proportion Elderly. According to data published by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2030 one in six people worldwide will be 60 years of age or older, going from a population of 1 billion in 2020 to about 1.4 billion. Projections for 2050 indicate this Those over the age of 60 exceed 2,100 million people. As for the population aged 80 or over, it will triple by 2050, the year it will number more than 426 million.

If we focus on Europe, it is estimated that by 2025 the proportion More than 50 years old will reach 50% of the population of the European Union. Biologically, from this age, a clear decline in the immune system begins, which gradually increases people’s susceptibility to disease. With the aging of the population, there is an increase in prevalence chronic diseases It increases the prevalence of related complications Vaccine-preventable diseases.

the Vaccines They have become one of the main allies of public health in the fight against multiple diseases. The most important milestone in the history of vaccination takes us back to 1980, when smallpox could be officially declared eradicated. Despite the fact that we are all very much aware of the importance of vaccinations, the truth is that as we get older we forget about them. the Vaccination in children It is a well-established concept, assimilated and shared by all, but there is not enough awareness of the critical role that vaccines continue to play during all stages of life.

Vaccines Europe criticizes through one of its recent publications that for decades most countries have focused their attention on children’s immunization programmes, with widespread coverage, but not in the case of adults. A review by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) of the national immunization plans of EU member states revealed that Great variation between different countries In terms of immunization recommendations in the adult population.

According to the above review, a large number of European countries died before the epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 Less than 0.5% of their budgets go into vaccination programs. Most of this investment has gone into child immunization programmes. Among the small number of European countries that recommend vaccination for adults, coverage differs significantly from that reported by children.

The pharmaceutical industry is developing a total of 100 vaccine candidates, 81 for adults, of which 52 (excluding those for Covid-19) combine various existing sera.

A large number of vaccines aimed at reducing the spread of infectious diseases in the adult population are already available. We are talking, for example, about vaccines against influenza, herpes zoster, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough (DTPa), pneumococcal infection, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus or meningococcal vaccines for young people. At this time, as reported by Vaccines Europe, the pharmaceutical industry is Developing 100 vaccine candidates sum, 81 for the adult populationof which 52 (excluding those for Covid-19) combine different existing sera.

These numbers paint an encouraging picture because many of these vaccine candidates will prove effective and safe and eventually receive authorization from the relevant regulators. The moment when populations will have better tools to protect themselves from preventable diseases, especially the most vulnerable. This is why it is so important to ensure national policies and guarantee the necessary structural support so that European citizens can benefit from the value of these vaccines.

For this reason, they from Vaccines Europe emphasized the need to extend the benefits of vaccination from pediatric age to all ages, while aligning themselves with the increasing role they must play in today’s health systems. In this sense, four measures have been proposed to protect European adults from vaccine-preventable diseases:

  • Protecting adults from vaccine-preventable diseases through policy lines that prioritize and protect adult vaccination in immunization programmes, as well as ensuring adequate funding to improve access and coverage of existing vaccines and faster inclusion of new vaccines.
  • Increase the education and awareness of citizens and health professionals of the overall burden of vaccine-preventable diseases and the benefits of adult vaccination.
  • Improving access to and appropriateness of vaccination for adults.
  • Create digital records to monitor which adults are vaccinated in order to improve coverage throughout life, making recycling and recalls possible.

Because health we all need…

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