Recommended immunization schedules for adults: Clinical practice guidelines by EVASG, EUGMS, WAidid

WAidid suggests the reading of the first European guidelines on adult and elderly vaccinations just published ‘Recommended immunization schedules for adults: Clinical practice guidelines by the Escmid Vaccine Study Group (EVASG), European Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) and the World Association for Infectious Diseases and Immunological Disorders (WAidid)’.
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza, pneumococcal disease, herpes zoster are among the main diseases for which vaccines are available and recommended for people who are 65 year old or more.

“Vaccinations are a key instrument of prevention to reduce disease and extend life – says Susanna Esposito, President WAidid. In Italy and Europe we are witnessing to a rapid population ageing characterized by greater vulnerability due to the weakening of the immune system. For this reason we recommend vaccinations in adults and the elderly; to protect them from diseases such as influenza, pneumococcal infection, pertussis, and herpez zoster. European guidelines are the result of a long work we have done with a team of international experts.”

Rapid population aging has become a major challenge in the industrialised world and progressive aging is a key reason for making improvement in vaccination a cornerstone of public health strategy. Immuno-senescence (i.e., age-related deterioration of the innate and adaptive immune systems) affects antibody responses to vaccine components in many elderly patients and limits the immunogenicity and effectiveness of vaccines in this group. The authours conducted a systematic review of the literature regarding different categories of vaccines among five populations of interest. Extending the benefits of vaccination to all age groups including the older population is a healthcare priority. Notably, in contrast, adult vaccination decreases mortality and morbidity linked to vaccine-preventable diseases as well as is associated with reduced use of antibiotics and a decrease in antibiotic-resistant infections. However, although immunisation is considered one of the most impactful and cost-effective public health measures, vaccination coverage rates are lower than the stated goal of ≥95% among adults and strong efforts are required to increase the coverage in this population, considering the patient’s risk on the basis of the age-related immune-senescence, the high frequency of an underlying chronic disease, or the pregnancy status and work activities.

AUTHORS: Esposito S, Bonanni P, Maggi S, Tan L, Ansaldi F, Lopalco PL, Dagan R, Michel JP, van Damme P, Gaillat J, Prymula R, Vesikari T, Mussini C, Frank U, Osterhaus A, Celentano LP, Rossi M, Guercio V, Gavazzi G.