Stressing the Importance of Adult Immunization: Suggestions for How to Change the Paradigm
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From 24 to 26 May 2017, the European Interdisciplinary Council on Ageing (EICA) and the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) brought together a group of key opinion leaders and stakeholders from the healthcare field, for a conference entitled “Changing the Paradigm: Stressing the Importance of Adult Immunization”. The specific objectives of this meeting were to review vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) and vaccine performance in older adults and analyse the impact of the adult vaccination campaigns currently being implemented in Europe. The meeting aimed to improve our understanding of the challenge that vaccine hesitancy or scepticism represents, and how existing barriers to vaccine uptake may be overcome, particularly through policy change at a European level. Several useful and relevant actions were identified that could be undertaken to advance the cause of adult vaccination at a European level, in areas such as public health and economy, long-term care, geriatric medicine, the role of pharmacies, non-governmental organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, media and science and the One Health concept. All these themes are developed in the present review. Overall, there is a compelling need for a comprehensive action plan to achieve the objective of creating a programme for disease prevention and health promotion for older populations.