COVID vaccine progress highlights urgent need for investment in adult immunisation infrastructure

Responding to the progress on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, David Sinclair, Director of the International Longevity Centre – UK commented:

“That we are one step closer to a vaccine against Covid-19 is brilliant news. The scientists have done their job.”

“Now it’s time for policymakers and politicians to step up. Having a vaccine which works is just the starting point”

“In too many places we are already failing to deliver existing vaccinations to older people who need them.”

“We’ve had an age-related flu vaccination programme in the UK for twenty years but we still fail to meet the WHO target of 75% uptake among older people.”

“Clinical risk groups fare even worse with far too few people in these groups taking up their rights to vaccination. And only one in two pregnant women take up their entitlement to a free flu vaccination.”

“And with an overwhelmed NHS, and many “at risk” groups and older people shielding or reluctant to get out of the home, it will be even harder to reach those most in need. We must double up efforts, be proactive and innovate.”

“That said, the UK remains a world leader in terms of our approach to the vaccination of older people. Government has started to build an infrastructure for delivery of a Covid-19 vaccine. We must ensure we heed the lessons of what works, based on our experience of delivering our influenza vaccination programme.”

“It won’t be easy to get the vaccine out to those who need it. And we run the risk of leaving behind those who need it most if we fail to adapt our vaccine infrastructure now.”


Lily Parsey: +44 (0)208 638 0832

David Sinclair: 07543646992

The International Longevity Centre (ILC)

The ILC is the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on society, and what happens next.

We believe society has to adapt now so we can all enjoy the benefits of longevity. We want a society that works for everyone, regardless of their age. We know the numbers. We know the challenges. What happens next will define us for generations.

ILC and adult immunisation

ILC are experts on adult immunisation and have produced a range of influential reports including:

  • Healthier for Longer: Adult Vaccination in Singapore (2020)
  • Never too late: Productivity and the flu (2020)
  • Under the skin: Listening to the voices of older people (adult vaccination) (2019)
  • Data Bots and Drones (adult vaccination and technology) (2019)
  • Lost time: Productivity and the flu (2019)
  • Healthy Ageing in Hong Kong (2019)
  • Contained or Contagious: Spanish Flu (2019)
  • Economic Analysis of Flu (2018)
  • AMR and Adult vaccination (2016)
  • Immune Response (2013)
  • ILC-UK; Adult vaccination – a key component of healthy ageing (2013)
  • SAATI report (2013);

Our history

The International Longevity Centre UK was established in 1997 as one of the members of the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance, an international network on longevity.

Since our inception, we have published over 250 reports, organised over 300 events including the annual Future of Ageing conference. 

We work with central government, local government, the private sector, and professional and academic associations to provoke conversations and pioneer solutions for a society where everyone can thrive, regardless of age.