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World Immunization Week 2017

WIW is a campaign spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), which took place from 24 - 30 April 2017.  The goal of WIW is to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination across the life course and to examine progress on the WHO  Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and the third WHO  2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of "Good Health and Well-Being," of which expanding access to vaccination is a key component.  Both documents highlight disparities in access to and awareness of vaccines, and support work being done to build better global health infrastructure to close the vaccination gap.

This year's WIW theme was #VaccinesWork, a theme that underscored ground-breaking vaccine developments that have, and continue to, take place.  This theme was also a channel through which the IFA drew attention to the marked effect of vaccine-preventable diseases on older people and showcased the work of the World Coalition on Adult Vaccination members.

The collaboration of organizations working to support advances in vaccination is vital to continued work on vaccination policies.  The IFA values all organizations who participated in WIW 2017 by sharing the @vaccines4life Twitter posts or by creating their own. 

The life course approach to vaccination is a sub-theme of the IFA 14th Global Conference on Ageing.  As such, the IFA encourages all those working in the field of vaccination to submit an abstract to the Conference.  More information can be found here:  

To find out more about the World Coalition on Adult Vaccination,  click here The IFA welcomes requests by organizations to join the Coalition, which can be sent to  [email protected].   
IFPMA-FIP Morning Talk on Influenza Vaccination
Recently, IFA Secretary-General Dr. Jane Barratt spoke at a morning event on the importance of flu vaccines held by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), in collaboration with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

This discussion between key thought leaders in the field of vaccination was held in honour of World Immunization Week, and provided a broad socioeconomic and political look at the vaccine landscape as it pertains to influenza.

To watch to Dr. Barratt speak, click on the image above. 
IFA present at the University of New South Wales Launch of the Vaccine & Infection Research Lab
Mr Graeme Prior, IFA Director, CEO, Hall & Prior, a leading aged care provider in Australia represented the IFA at the launch of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Vaccine & Infection Research Lab (VIRL) in Sydney, Australia .

The Mission Statement of the UNSW-VIRL states that their goal is to reduce the immunisation gap between adults and children through research, teaching and advocacy, with a special focus on the elderly, high risk and vulnerable populations.

Learn more about the UNSW-VIRL by clicking here
World Coalition on Adult Vaccination 
Member Updates 
FUNCEI: Adult Immunization Awareness Campaign

Fundación Centro de Estudios Infectológicos/Foundation Center for Infectious Disease Studies (FUNCEI) is supporting the Argentinean Ministry of Health in its immunization campaigns, with special focus on the influenza national vaccination campaign, and the recent inclusion in the National Vaccination Schedule of both pneumococcal conjugate and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines for adults over 65 years old and for adults with chronic diseases.
Also, between April 24 and 30 FUNCEI joined the World Immunization Week (WIW) to share shared key social media messages and provide the community with materials to raise awareness of the importance of a life course approach to immunizations across generations to protect the populations who are most at-risk.
The campaign is available at:  and at the Twitter channels @vacunasadultos and @FundStamboulian.
Generations United:   Valuing Vaccinations Across Generations Expands International Efforts

Building on a successful 2016 campaign, Valuing Vaccinations Across Generations continues to grow its international efforts with partners in Japan (Tokyo Metropolitan Institute on Gerontology) and Spain (University of Granada) to promote vaccinations through a lifespan approach.
The campaign - which Generations United launched in 2016 with The Gerontological Society of America and The American Academy of Pediatrics, with funding from Pfizer - aims to bridge the importance of immunizations within segmented groups into an intergenerational conversation within families and among different generations. In its first year, the campaign produced compelling and shareable content including an informational infographic and discussion guide about the critical importance of vaccinations across generations.
The campaign in Japan ( ) will continue to create Manga cartoons and translating content to be culturally relevant and hosting a symposium. In Spain, the campaign will bring older volunteers into schools to share their vaccination stories and spark intergenerational dialogue. They will also create content, engage partners and host education workshops for healthcare professionals.
For more information visit
Hacettepe University: Viral respiratory infections have high mortality rate in multi-morbid, elderly population with influenza being the most prevalent, vaccine preventable one.

Our knowledge on the viral etiologies causing respiratory disease in adults is limited. Influenza may become the most common etiology of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the influenza season, though other respiratory viruses such as coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus have been identified in cases of influenza like illness (ILI) and in patients with CAP.

Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network aims to document the burden of influenza infections among acute admissions in particular countries. Hacettepe University is one of the centers in Turkey to send information to this global network. Within this framework, the article 'Mortality Related Factors in Patients Requiring Hospitalization for Influenza Like Illness' aimed to determine the viral etiologies of ILI among patients requiring hospitalization and to document the risk factors for mortality.

Among the 106 cases swabbed during the 2013-2014 influenza season , the median age was 71 years and approximately two-thirds had at least one chronic morbidity. Hospital mortality was 12.2%. More than one quarter of the patients needed mechanical ventilation support and at least one organ failure developed in one third of the patients. One or more viral pathogens were detected in 52.8% of the patients, with influenza A H3N2 being the most prevalent one. Having a lower body mass index was associated with mortality.

It is noteworthy that seasonal influenza vaccination rates were very low (22.6%) in such a complicated patient group, revealing an urgent need to undertake firm vaccination strategies and/or campaigns in the country.

Read the article ' Mortality Related Factors in Patients Requiring Hospitalization for Influenza Like Illness' :
Update from the National Institute of Geriatrics of México

Last March 22nd to 23rd, the World Health Organization held a meeting on immunization in older adults, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In this meeting, the National Institute of Geriatrics of Mexico participated in a discussion panel and the case of vaccination coverage in older adults in Mexico was discussed.

According to the OECD Health at a Glance 2015 report, Mexico has the highest influenza vaccination coverage among the member states (78.5%). For several years now, influenza vaccination has been widely available each season starting in October. It is delivered free of cost to children under 5 years of age, adults 60 years and older, pregnant women, adults with selected uncontrolled chronic conditions and healthcare workers. 

Promotion strategies include a nation-wide multimedia campaign and a designated week for the health of older adults. The vaccine is made widely available through all the public health clinics and hospitals, but also via vaccination posts in public spaces such as supermarkets, public parks and subway stations. In some parts of the country, particularly in rural areas, door-to-door vaccination is also carried. Pneumococcal and Td vaccines are also available for older adults in Mexico, with coverage rates of 44.7% and 63.3%, respectively.

Further reading: (Article in Spanish with abstract in English)
Vaccine Ambassadors:  
Healthier Communities Through Immunizations

April 22nd kicked off the 15th annual Vaccination Week in the America's. Over 640 million people, young and old, have received vaccines through this incredible Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) initiated effort.  As supporters of PAHO's ongoing immunization services, Vaccine Ambassadors was excited to celebrate this enormous achievement.
Some of the Region's immunization successes include the eradication of small pox  (1971) and polio (1994) , in addition to the elimination of endemic rubella/congenital rubella syndrome ( 2015) and endemic measles (2016). 
This year's theme was "#GetVax to celebrate a healthy tomorrow!"  While we know that immunizations are vital to children's health, it is important to remember that immunizations aren't just for kids. Vaccines are necessary throughout the lifespan, and play an essential role in healthy aging.
To learn more about this annual initiative please visit

Photo ©PAHO
Asociación Colombiana de Gerontología y Geriatría: Vacunación para Adultos en Colombia (Adult Vaccination in Colombia)

Colombia, enfrenta grandes retos en envejecimiento y vejez, dados por la baja tasa de natalidad en comparación con el aumento en la expectativa de vida. Actualmente existen más personas mayores de 60 años que menores de 5 años en el país y en tan solo tres años por cada dos adolescentes existirá una persona mayor. Tan solo en Bogotá, existirá un incremento del 55% de la población adulta mayor en el 2020, lo cual es un Logro como sociedad, pero a su vez implica grandes retos y desafíos en salud; en especial cuando hablamos de prevención.
La dependencia funcional y la discapacidad, generan un panorama sombrío dentro las expectativas que tenemos frente a nuestra propia vejez, lo cual se ve reflejado en los datos que nos da la Organización Panamericana de la Salud: " Para el 2020, se habrá incrementado en un 47% la prevalencia de necesidad de cuidados en mayores de 60 años en América latina, es decir, que más de diez millones de personas de 60 años y más requerirán asistencia cotidiana en nuestra Región" Si a esto le añadimos que cada día aumenta la cifra de personas mayores de 100 años concentradas principalmente en las grandes ciudades, esto genera desafíos personales y sociales desde el autocuidado y la prevención de la dependencia funcional.

Click here to read the rest of the article. 
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 [email protected] .

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