An examination of the UK adult immunisation policy framework in light of new European research conducted by SAATI (Supporting Active Ageing Through Immunisation).
SAATI is a voluntary, pan-European partnership of individuals, from a variety of backgrounds including clinicians, health promotion experts and industry among others, who have coalesced around a shared commitment to tackle low public awareness of the risk and burden of vaccine-preventable diseases.
In November 2013, SAATI published, ‘Adult vaccination: a key component of healthy ageing. Benefits of life-course immunisation in Europe’. Seven vaccine-preventable diseases were focussed on: flu, pneumonia, herpes zoster, invasive pneumococcal disease, pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus.
This report, ‘Immune response. Adult immunisation in the UK’, incorporates evidence emerging from the SAATI report but takes a UK perspective on the findings. A focus group involving key experts from the immunisation policy landscape in the UK, including those involved in front-line delivery informed findings. This report has been funded through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer International Operations.
The case for adult immunisation as set out in the report includes:
- Vaccination has an instrumental role to play as a preventative public health intervention, within broader healthy ageing strategies,
- A greater focus on the vaccination of older adults is particularly important due to immunosenescence, antimicrobial resistance and global migration,
- There is strong evidence regarding the cost effectiveness of adult immunisation as a public health intervention; utility of immunisation as a cost effective measure was found for four of the seven vaccine-preventable diseases within the EU SAATI report, while for the other three vaccines, a lack of studies meant that this analysis could not be undertaken.
The report highlights a number of policy recommendations that include:
- Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA’s) should take a life-course approach to Immunisation,
- Health and Wellbeing Boards should ensure that that life-course vaccination is adequately considered as part of health planning and commissioning,
- Commissioning arrangements for immunisation should support the uptake of adult vaccination.
The report provides a strong rationale for adopting a life-course approach to immunisation within the context of healthy ageing.
Download the report below.