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On the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons in 2020 we recognise in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that the rights of older people are human rights.

Older people and those with underlying chronic conditions have a weakened immune system and are at-risk of vaccine preventable diseases and associated complications which could lead to chronic poor health, loss of functional ability and autonomy, hospitalization and even death.

The pledge to End Immunization Inequity aligns with the principle of the WHO Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) to “Leave no one behind” and supports the strategic objectives for the Decade of Healthy Ageing to improve the lives of older people, their families and their communities. The pledge recognizes specific barriers to vaccination in the most vulnerable populations and the contribution of adult immunization to healthy ageing.

We confirm the pressing need to eliminate immunization inequalities and inequities and achieve the goal of IA2030: A world where everyone, everywhere, at every age, fully benefits from vaccines to improve health and well-being.

On this day and going forward we stand together in the pledge to:

  • Recognize the contributions of adult vaccination to maintaining functional ability and enabling health and well-being in older age
  • Safeguard the rights of older adults and those with underlying conditions to equitable access to immunization
  • Support immunization throughout life and address the misconception that vaccination is only for children
  • Advocate for risk-based immunization including catch-up vaccinations throughout life
  • Build and strengthen partnerships across sectors and disciplines to expand vaccinator gateways and simplify pathways to vaccination
  • Develop and deliver effective campaign and communication strategies that translate into action that improved uptake rates of adult vaccinations

 

 

Please note that signatory names and organizations will be published on the Vaccines4Life website.

 

 

About the International Federation on Ageing:

The IFA is an international, non-governmental organization (NGO) with a unique membership base comprising government, NGOs, academia, industry, and individuals in over 82 countries.  Now over 45 years old, IFA drives the agenda for the world’s population ageing working across disciplines and sectors toward common goals that improve the lives of older people.  Through its formal relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and general consultative status at the United Nations and its agencies, the IFA contributes and inform intergovernmental dialogue related to age-related policy.

Improving the uptake rates of adult vaccination globally is a priority of the IFA in the context of health ageing.  Over the course of some nine years IFA has convened more than 15 expert meetings in North America, South East Asia, Europe and Latin America bringing together experts in the fields of ageing, vaccines, noncommunicable diseases, public health and rare diseases.  The World Coalition of Adult Immunization comprising many of these experts and their organisations brings some of the best intelligence and advocacy initiatives to change the conversation around the value of vaccination and older people.  Vaccines4Life (www.vaccines4life.com) is a dedicated platform for our unifying message and actions across to stakeholders to drive policy and practice change. 

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