Promotion of a Lifelong Immunization Program for Healthy Ageing

  • Johan FlamaingEmail author
Part of the Practical Issues in Geriatrics book series (PIG)


Ageing, frailty, and comorbidity increase the susceptibility to infections and enhance the consequences (morbidity, mortality, and costs) of these infections. Tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria, influenza, pneumococcal disease, and herpes zoster are vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) frequently occurring in the older population. Immunity against these infections needs to be acquired early in life and tends to wane at higher ages (immunosenescence). During life vaccines can offer protection against VPD directly to the vaccinated person but also indirectly to non-vaccinated persons by herd protection. Vaccine formulations and strategies need to be adapted to yield a long-lasting protection against VPD. Integration of vaccines in a lifelong vaccination program offers the best possibility to obtain this goal. Yet, vaccination uptake in the (older) adult population is inconsistent or low. Vaccination implementation is complex and needs coordination between vaccine recipients, healthcare professionals, and the healthcare systems to improve vaccination coverage.


Vaccine preventable disease Immunosenescence Herd protection Vaccination strategies Older persons 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geriatric MedicineUZ LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Division of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Department of Chronic Diseases, Metabolism, and Ageing (CHROMETA)KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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