Highlights of 2017 in Review
'Adult Vaccination: A Public Health Priority' 
London, August 2017
In August 2017, the IFA in collaboration with ILC-UK convened an expert meeting on adult vaccination and at-risk groups in the context of a comprehensive public health approach.
The meeting comprised twenty-nine delegates from across Europe and North America in the fields of vaccination, ageing, public health, and non-communicable diseases with the goal of building consensus around key public health messages underpinning adult vaccination.
Four key messages evolved from the many presentations and discussions and were agreed upon by the experts:
  1. Adult vaccination is central to a life course approach to healthy ageing;
  2. Greater attention needs to be paid to older people and at-risk groups around vaccines;
  3. Ageism and age discrimination may well impact the uptake rates of adult vaccination; and
  4. The narrative about older adults and vaccines needs to change.
Other insights included: 
  • Adult vaccination is still relatively unknown as part of a broad public health intervention; 
  • It is relatively rare for multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral discussions to occur on this topic; 
  • There are different viewpoints around the degree to which ageism and age discrimination impact uptake rates; 
  • The level of awareness of at-risk patient groups (e.g. diabetes, heart, lung, asthma) is extremely low. 
Learnings and insights from the meeting are lessons that inform the strategic thinking and direction of this complex field and IFA's future work.  The meeting report 'Adult Vaccination: A Public Health Priority' can be accessed by clicking here
World Pneumonia Day 2017

The IFA sincerely thanks member organizations of the World Coalition on Adult Vaccination who participated in World Pneumonia Day by sharing  @vaccines4life  Twitter posts, creating posts, and/or using the hashtags #WorldPneumoniaDay and #WPD2017.  
As part of our work, the IFA Secretary-General Dr Jane Barratt filmed a brief video about the importance of vaccinations for older people and at-risk groups.  Click here  to watch and share. 
The IFA is confident that next year's campaign will continue to create strong responses that highlight both good practices and the need for further development in adult vaccination efforts.
The collaboration of Coalition members working to support advances in vaccination is vital to continued work on vaccination policies and practices, and as such, the IFA looks forward with anticipation to World Pneumonia Day 2018.
Additional highlights from 2017

In 2017, the IFA had a voice at the table of several meetings including: 
  1. World Health Organization (WHO), panel discussion at "Immunization in the elderly" expert meeting
  2. IFPMA-FIP panel discussion on influenza vaccination - click here
  3. World Health Summit panel discussion on vaccine hesitancy - click here
  4. European Interdisciplinary Council on Aging (EICA) meeting 'Changing the vaccine paradigm: Stressing the importance of adult immunization;'
  5. Meetings in Japan in partnership with Friends of IFA (FOIFA) Japan, with members of the Japan national Diet, Japan NGO Association (JANCA), Ministry Health Labour and Welfare and the Japan Medical Association. 
Life Course Approach to Vaccination at the 
IFA 14th Global Conference
Submit your abstracts on the 
life course approach to vaccination  by 1 December!
The IFA is seeking abstracts from those interested in vaccination, ageing, and non-communicable diseases for the 14th Global Conference.  The work being done at the intersections of these fields will be comprehensively showcased at the conference, with a sub-theme dedicated to the life course approach to vaccination. 
For those interested, please see submission deadlines by  clicking here
For more information about exhibition space and abstract submission visit www.ifa2018.com or contact Conference and Event Coordinator Ms Tarah McMaster at tmcmaster@ifa-fiv.org
Blogs from the World Coalition on Adult Vaccination
For years our efforts have been focused on vaccination during childhood. Today we know that this is not enough to ensure health in the rest of the life. 
Childhood is as important as any other stage and, therefore, vaccination must be permanent and differentiated, according to our age, throughout life. 

Introducing a life course perspective in vaccination programs, with emphasis on adult vaccination, particularly in older adults, offers us the opportunity to review the performance of health programs, actions, and services in the field of immunization, as well as strengthening health promotion actions. 

In this context, the first Mexican Consensus on Adult Vaccination was carried out in a joint effort of the National Institute of Geriatrics, bringing together a group of specialists who worked on three central objectives: establishing vaccination guidelines throughout the life course, with emphasis on new vaccines; defining priority groups according to their risk factors; and contributing to the effort to promote healthy aging.
Further reading:

International Longevity Centre - United Kingdom

Whilst NHS staff were already offered the vaccination for free to protect patients and the public, the Government recommended that social care workers were immunised but asked employers of social care workers to pay for the vaccine. The International Longevity Centre - UK has long highlighted the need to fund the vaccine for social care workers, to protect the extremely vulnerable people under their care.

The flu epidemic in care homes in Wigan last winter, which lead to thirty cases of flu, eight deaths, and Wigan Infirmary and the North West Ambulance Service facing additional pressures, is a case study of the toll that low uptake of flu vaccination among care home staff can have on residents and the NHS.

ILC-UK is also urging the Government to ensure that domiciliary care workers are also reimbursed for the immunisation, so that they can protect the people they care for from influenza this winter."
New videos from Vaccines Today

Vaccines Today has published 20 new videos on its YouTube channel in recent weeks. Many of the new videos are short interviews with experts who spoke at a conference on vaccine acceptance in France in September.

The team is also working on two new animations in its series on life-long immunisation. The first instalment - Vaccines are not just for kids, they're for life - was launched earlier this year. The next two videos in this series will focus on vaccines for older people and vaccination during pregnancy.

Vaccines are not just for kids - they're for life

A new video is also in production to tell the story of an Italian family who won the Vaccines Today Communication Challenge - an annual photo competition. The winners are raising awareness of the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases for people undergoing chemotherapy.

Because cancer treatment can depress the immune system, they are especially vulnerable and rely on the wider community to protect them. We'll share the video in the next newsletter.

All Vaccines Today videos are freely available for sharing or embedding on your website. 
Australian Immunisation Coalition

On 29 June 2017, the Australian Immunisation Coalition held its second adult immunisation forum, in Melbourne, Australia. The meeting was fully subscribed with 150 immunisation professionals.
The objectives of the meeting were to better understand the burden of vaccine preventable diseases in older adults, and to build awareness of the challenges and strategies for improved vaccination in this cohort. The selection of presenters enabled the audience to hear of the latest developments in vaccination programs for the elderly, and to participate in discussions on ideas for enhanced vaccine coverage through collaborations.
Topics included adult vaccination ethics and equity, which provided lucid insights into the dramatic decline in wellbeing and independence when vaccination programs do not adequately address the needs of the older community. The matter of immune senescence was also explained, with participants walking away with a clear understanding of how the effectiveness of the immune system declines as a result of the aging process. This then lead to a discussion on vaccine effectiveness in the elderly, and the need for better vaccines. The final presentation gave an overview of the progress of the introduction of zoster vaccines Australia.
An evaluation of the meeting showed a 98% good or excellent rating by the more than 50% who completed the forms. On the strength of the popularity and demand for more information, the 3rd Adult Immunisation Forum will be held in Adelaide on June 8, 2018.
November Update from Generations United

Generations United's Valuing Vaccinations Across Generations campaign continues expanding its outreach, working with teams led by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (TMIG) in Japan and the University of Granada - Business Sector Foundation in Spain.
Generations United launched the campaign in 2016 with The Gerontological Society of American and the American Academy of Pediatrics to bridge the importance of immunizations within segmented groups into an intergenerational conversation within families and among different generations.
In the U.S., Valuing Vaccinations Across Generations continues to produce compelling and shareable content including new memes about the critical importance of vaccinations across generations. To celebrate Grandparents Day in the U.S., which is the Sunday after Labor Day, Generations United partnered with the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs to produce and disseminate a placemat encouraging mealtime conversations between young and old on the value of vaccines. The campaign is now collaborating with additional national partners in a social media campaign to promote the placemat leading up to the holiday season.
The campaign team in Japan ( www.ikouyo-vaccine.com) launched an English version of the website. The team will continue sharing its messages through manga cartoons and translated content on its website, leaflets and social media. They're expanding partnerships and building off their successful grassroots strategy through presentations and working with local governments on direct outreach in communities.
In Spain, the campaign team is recruiting participants to continue a study on vaccine beliefs and attitudes. A team led by researchers at the University of Granada will train older adults to go into schools to educate young people about vaccines. The campaign will also work with health professionals in primary care centers and senior centers.
For more information, visit www.bandAGEofhonor.org
Vaccine Ambassadors - Special Report

Vaccine Ambassadors Responds to Immediate Immunization Needs Brought on by Hurricane Maria in the Commonwealth of Dominica. 

On September 18th the small island of Dominica, situated in the Lesser Antilles and home to approximately 70,000 residents, suffered catastrophic destruction throughout the entire island when Hurricane Maria made landfall as a category 5 hurricane.

Dominica's immunization program was severely compromised. Healthcare facilities were damaged or destroyed and all vaccines were lost due to widespread power outages. Without alternative energy sources to maintain a consistent temperature, the integrity of the vaccines was unable to be preserved. Repairs to municipal utilities are expected to take months to be fully restored.

In response to the immediate situation, Vaccine Ambassadors has mobilized funding to provide an emergency 4-month supply of routine vaccines for children and adults residing on the island in addition to the delivery of five solar powered refrigerators.

Seeking vaccination experts to join the 
IFA Expert Centre 
The IFA's mission is to be a global point of connection to experts and expertise in order to help influence and shape ageing policies, including those related to the life course approach to vaccination.

In order to facilitate these connections, the IFA hosts a virtual Expert Centre featuring thought leaders and experts in policy, research and practice in fields associated with population ageing, including vaccination.  

The Expert Centre is an opportunity for agencies and people in the field of ageing to get to know our experts and also to build connections with one another in order to achieve the goal of increasing vaccination uptake rates, particularly in older people and at-risk populations.

If you would like to be part of the Expert Centre, or would like more information on what it entails, please contact jrochman-fowler@ifa-fiv.org.
If you are an NGO, academic, scientist or government decision maker working in the field of adult vaccination, ageing and public health and would like to learn more about the World Coalition on Adult Vaccination, please contact  Ms Jessica Rochman-Fowler at jrochman-fowler@ifa-fiv.org .

Connect with the IFA on our social media platforms: