Webinar: Maximising the impact of a COVID-19 vaccine in an ageing world

Date: Tuesday 15 December 2020
Time: 2.00pm – 3.30pm GMT

ILC held a webinar where we heard from experts at Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi and MSD on how we maximise uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination among older people, and heed the lessons from the pandemic for other adult vaccinations.

The scientists have done their job and the UK has started to vaccinate older people against COVID-19.

But in our ageing world, how do we democratise access to the vaccine whilst also ensuring uptake is as high as possible?

While childhood immunisation programmes are common and well delivered across the world, the situation for adult immunisation is very different.

The levels of uptake of existing adult vaccinations against influenza, pneumococcal disease and herpes zoster remain low across most of the world. 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, and uptake rates are even worse for clinical “at risk” groups.

The UK does better than many countries and is arguably a world leader in terms of its approach to the vaccination of older people. But how can we build on this expertise to support uptake of adult vaccinations across the world?

With an overwhelmed NHS, and many “at risk” groups and older people shielding or reluctant to get out of the home, it may be even harder to reach those most in need.

This ILC webinar presented a unique opportunity to hear from medical experts in the pharmaceutical industry about how we heed the lessons of what works, based on our experience of delivering other adult vaccinations, and how the lessons from COVID-19 can help drive uptake of other vaccinations targeted at older people.

Speakers included:

  • Dr Dilruwan Herath, Executive Medical Director, MSD UK
  • Dr Gillian Ellsbury, Medical Director – Vaccines UK & Ireland, Pfizer
  • Philip Cruz, MD, Vaccines Medical Director – UK & Ireland, GSK
  • Dr Ian Gray, Medical Director UK, Sanofi
  • David Sinclair, Director, ILC
Chair: Dr  Jane Barratt, Secretary General, Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
You can watch the recording of the webinar and download the slides below.