www.vaccines4life.com | 15 July 2020
As much of the world prepares to "live with COVID-19" for the foreseeable future, the World Coalition on Adult Vaccination (WCAV) remains a point of connection to advocate for e quitable access to safe, affordable and effective vaccines throughout the life course.

Despite many challenges being faced by organizations working with and on behalf of older people and at-risk groups, the WCAV presents a vital opportunity for thought leaders across sectors and disciplines to share evidence-based good practices, policies and innovations in the field. Breaking down barriers which impede access of at-risk groups to life-saving vaccines relies upon invaluable global collaboration undertaken by WCAV members.

The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) recognizes and appreciates the contribution of Coalition members in this edition of the Vaccines4Life Newsletter. We at IFA are encouraged by the concerted focus and solidarity around strengthening immunization policies, most critically adult vaccinations.

Updates from IFA
IFA invites you to visit our new knowledge mobilization platform known as Vaccines4Life (V4L) and contribute your latest publication, article, video, webinar or podcast that speaks to improving vaccination rates for at-risk groups to the global VacciNet database.

IFA applauds the latest submission to the VacciNet database from Dr. Nora Cutcliffe and Ms. Carolyn Whiskin, " Opportunities for pharmacists in vaccinating higher-risk populations ," which focuses on the need to improve vaccination rates in "higher-risk" adults, and to provide an update on Canadian guidelines/resources available to pharmacists and other health care professionals regarding immunization in such higher-risk groups. 
IFA Spotlight on Vaccination:
For information contact IFA Experts Mr. Gary Finnegan or Dr. Jane Barratt
73 rd World Health Assembly Statement Analysis: Vaccination
Following the World Health Assembly, held from 18-19 May 2020, the IFA completed an analysis on the statements submitted under agenda item 3, devoted to the COVID-19 pandemic response, regarding vaccination. At this crucial time, the IFA encourages all stakeholders, and WCAV members in particular, to engage in conversations on this topic in their local situe.
World Coalition on Adult Vaccination Member Updates
New resource for pharmacists to expand their role in vaccination
Pharmacists around the world can now make use of a resource from the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) to help them expand their role in immunisation. The resource entitled “Give it a shot: Expanding immunisation coverage through pharmacists,” published in June 2020, offers practical guidance on implementing a vaccination service and sets out the roles and technical requirements for pharmacy-based vaccines-related services. It makes the case for pharmacy-based vaccinations and presents a compilation of evidence and good practice.

This publication includes a foreword by IFA Secretary General, Dr. Jane Barratt, which recognises the role of community pharmacists in improving vaccination accessibility and equity across all ages, as well as a range of services that contribute to improved use of medicines and optimises functional ability.

“FIP strongly believes that pharmacists should be involved in vaccination strategies in a multitude of roles everywhere around the world and has given high priority to this area for a decade. Vaccination is one of the most successful, safe and cost-effective health interventions of all time. Improving vaccination coverage is a global imperative and pharmacists must join these efforts. With this resource, we want to inspire these countries to move forward and individuals to act,” - FIP President Mr. Dominique Jordan
‘Vaccines Are Vital’ campaign launches amid growing concerns
As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens global immunisation uptake, Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) has launched the ‘ Vaccines Are Vital ’ campaign. We encourage everyone, everywhere, to take up the routine vaccinations available to them.

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated in mid-April 2020 that routine vaccinations should continue despite lockdown measures, classifying them as an essential health service. This was reiterated by Public Health England, the Chief Medical Officer / Medical Director of NHS Wales, and the Scottish Government. Ireland’s Health Service Executive also advised that routine immunisations continue amidst measures to combat COVID-19.

Despite this, MRF’s Support team have continued to receive dozens of enquiries from UK and Irish families concerned about missed vaccine appointments. Although certain school immunisation programmes have been suspended in line with government guidance, any vaccine appointments due to take place in a health professional setting must continue.

“Vaccines are vital because they save lives,” said Gemma Lessells, MRF Ambassador. Gemma’s son Matthew contracted deadly MenB meningitis in 2010, aged just 13 months.

The MenB vaccine is now routinely given to babies in the UK and Ireland at 2, 4 and 12 months . After Matthew’s recovery, Gemma and her family helped MRF raise awareness of the devastating consequences of MenB meningitis, and ultimately ensure the introduction of the MenB vaccine to routine UK immunisation in 2015.

MRF Ambassador Danny Sweatman, who has endured the very rare experience of losing two family members – his brothers Ryan and Joe - to meningitis, is also a vocal advocate of vaccines.

He said: “Vaccines are vital. I know they can’t bring Ryan or Joe back, but they can certainly help prevent other families from experiencing the same pain that we have been through.”

MRF’s Vaccines are Vital campaign urges individuals to ensure they continue to prioritise immunisation whilst observing government guidance to combat COVID-19. We have also provided access to vaccine schedules in different countries, and advice on identifying misinformation related to vaccines. Any missed vaccine appointments should be rescheduled as soon as possible.
Improving Access to Accredited Immunizers in Australia
The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) considers access to vaccinations to be an important preventative health measure, particularly for the vulnerable, frail, marginalised and those with chronic and complex diseases. Through the National Immunisation Program Schedule Australians have access to around 17 free vaccinations across their life span - nurses are crucial to the delivery of these vaccines. The National Immunisation Education Framework for Health Professionals is the benchmark for immunisation education providers and ACN is an endorsed provider under this framework.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic ACN adapted our I mmunisation Program to rolling enrollments providing flexibility to support nurses to study and work, as well as support industry and consumers to have access to authorised immunisers. As a result, enrollments increased by 458% in April 2020.
In 2019 ACN published  Nurses, Immunisation and Health   Position Statement , along with a Discussion Paper outlining recommendations related to issues for nurses to consider. ACN promotes the benefits of vaccination nationally through all media and social media channels in the best interests of public health and safety.
Through effective leadership ACN has contributed to health promotion, primary prevention and improving access by increasing the number of nurse immunisers throughout Australia. 
Argentina's Influenza Vaccine
Campaign During COVID-19
Even amid social distancing and strict isolation indications in Argentina, we recognize it is very important to follow influenza vaccination recommendations. Argentina is now in the winter season, which is usually marked by increased hospitalisations of older people due to influenza. In anticipation of the double burden posed by the influenza season as well as COVID-19, it was especially important this year to provide strong influenza vaccination campaigns.

The National Ministry of Health alongside private sector stakeholders created innovative strategies to provide access to influenza (and pneumococcal) vaccines to everyone in the country. The images below provide snapshots of some of these strategies.
Drive-through vaccination clinic in Vacunauto, Argentina.
Vaccination centres expanded to include churches, with appropriate distancing between individuals.
Vaccination centres expanded to include local markets such as San Telmo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with appropriate distancing between individuals.
Nurses provided mobile vaccination services in remote areas of Argentina, sometimes walking very long distances.
Flu season - why 2020 is different
With so much focus on the need fo r coronavirus vaccines , the spotlight has shifted away from preventing diseases for which vaccines are already available. 

Vaccines Today has been highlighting the need to vaccinate against flu in particular this winter. 'As we face into the first full flu season of the COVID-19 era, there is no excuse for failing to reach those at risk,' writes Gary Finnegan. 

Indeed, many of those at highest risk of serious illness due to COVID-19 are in priority risk groups for flu vaccination: health workers, older people, those with diabetes, lung conditions and heart failure. Many countries, including in the developed world, still fall far short of flu vaccination targets . In 2020, protecting individuals, public health and hospital systems requires a significant improvement in vaccination rates. 

There's another COVID-related reason to ramp up adult vaccination infrastructure: when and if a coronavirus vaccine is ready, the target groups are unlikely to include children in the early phases. 

'Industrialised countries do have adult risk-based vaccine programmes, although in many countries they are very poorly implemented,' says Prof. David Salisbury, Associate Fellow at the Chatham House Global Health Programme. 'But such programmes simply do not exist in low-income countries.' Now is the time to invest in preparation for a coronavirus vaccine in the years ahead. 

Vaccines Today also grappled with the ethical challenges arising from the development and delivery of new vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. This interview with Dr. Arthur Capla n, a renowned bioethicist, teases out some of the thorny issues that lie ahead.
Upcoming Events
Antimicrobial Resistance and the Role of Vaccines
First international e-learning course
Antimicrobial resistance, which has been increasing at a disturbing rate, is now considered a threat to planetary health. The consequences of antimicrobial resistance are even now being felt in the European Union.

  • The mortality linked to antibiotic-resistant infections in Europe corresponds to approximately 33,000 deaths yearly;
  • The economic burden of antimicrobial resistance in Europe has been estimated to be approximately € 1.5 billion per year.

Vaccines can be seen as an important way to block the spread of antibiotic resistance by protecting individuals from being infected and from needing antibiotics and by eradicating specific pathogens from the population, leading to herd effects or indirect protection.
The 15 th Global Conference on Ageing "Rights Matter" in 2021 will include a full-day Vaccine4Life Summit which aims to inform the global agenda on a life course approach to vaccination, by bringing together global leaders in immunization, ageing, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and digital media, as well as civil society advocates, health care professionals, policymakers and ageing experts.

Be inspired to join the call to action for "vaccination throughout life" and learn from global leaders on strategic communications, building the social and economic case for investment, and the role of educators and vaccinators.
Are you interested in joining the Coalition? 
Visit the new Vaccines4Life website to submit an expression of interest.
Follow adult vaccination at the IFA