Public health and disease prevention - What benefits for an adult immunisation policy in Europe?
Disease prevention is one of the fundamental functions of public health. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the devastating impact of infectious diseases on adult health, quality of life, mortality and resilience, and importantly, the functioning of our healthcare systems and the global economy. These devastating impacts on our society reinforced the importance of adult immunisation as a key path to return to a “new normal”.
It is argued that we need a more robust adult vaccination strategy in Europe, particularly for adults aged over 50, who experience a steeper decline in their immune systems from that age as well as chronic diseases. OECD data across 26 countries show that more than one third of people aged 16 and over live with a longstanding illness or health problem. As populations age, the prevalence of chronic conditions, including multimorbidity, rises, leading to a higher risk of complications, including cardiovascular diseases, from Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs), that can reduce the quality of life, with a potential loss of independence.
For decades, many countries have had solid childhood immunisation strategies. However, until the Covid-19 pandemic, adult immunisation programmes were rarely at the core of the public health debate.
Studies indicate that the proportion of adults aged over 50 in the European Union is projected to reach 50% by 2025. This demographic trend increases the importance of advancing prevention measures, specifically routine adult immunisation programmes, as a public health priority.
Join this EURACTIV Hybrid Conference to discuss the potential of adult immunisation to fight vaccine-preventable diseases and the pressure such programmes would have on our healthcare systems.
Brussels Network Office - International Press Centre
1 Bd Charlemagne // 2nd floor
Tomislav Sokol MEP, Member COVI Committee, Substitute ENVI Committee, European Parliament
Prof. Pierre van Damme, Professor, vaccinology, infectious diseases, University of Antwerp
Prof. Joe Schmitt, Board Member, CLCI
Sibilia Quilici, Executive Director, Vaccines Europe
Yan Sergerie, GSK Global Medical Affairs Head, Adult Immunisation
12:30 – 12:35 Welcome
12:35 – 12:55 Panellist statements
12:55 – 13:40 Discussion and Q&A
13:40 – 13:45 Closing statements
+32 (0) 2 788 36 86
European populations are growing older, increasing the burden on already struggling health systems, but one way of reducing the burden is through adult immunisation programmes to combat vaccine-preventable diseases.