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

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

“While the progress in the development of a COVID vaccine will be a relief to many reading the news today, this is not the time to be complacent.”

“In too many places we are already failing to deliver existing vaccinations to adults who need them. The success of a COVID vaccine relies upon us being able to deliver results quickly but we simply don’t have the infrastructure to do what we need to.”

“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 asked to shield, it will be even harder to reach those most in need. We must double up efforts, be proactive and innovate.”

“It’s promising to see the Government’s announcement to prioritise older people and “at risk” groups in the roll-out of the vaccine, but it doesn’t end there.”

“With a threat of a second wave ahead of us and the northern hemisphere heading towards the flu season, governments must urgently invest in the infrastructure to deliver vaccination to older adults and ‘at risk’ populations, or we will pay a heavy price.”

“Across the world, we should look to gear up pharmacists and other allied healthcare professionals to support GPs to deliver adult vaccinations this winter and beyond. In many parts of the world pharmacists aren’t allowed to vaccinate despite the shortage of health care professionals and the need to get adult vaccinations out far and wide.”

“It’s fantastic news that we are starting to see very positive results from COVID-19 vaccine research and trials. But without building the infrastructure now, we run the risk of leaving behind those who need it most.”


David Sinclair: 07543646992

The International Longevity Centre

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.