“There is not enough awareness about the risk associated with infections and about the importance of preventing them with the vaccines we have now (...)” says Dr Eva Polverino, IFA Expert and pulmonology expert in respiratory infections affiliated with the European Respiratory Society.
During an interview at the IFA 14th Global Conference on Ageing, Dr Polverino highlights the importance of vaccines not just in preventing the diseases, but also reducing the use of antibiotics.
“The only way to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance is to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics.” - Dr Eva Polverino
Vaccines can help reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance by “reducing the use of antibiotics and the development of resistance” (WHO, 2016). For example, people often take antibiotics unnecessarily when they have flu-like symptoms, which could have been prevented through the influenza vaccine. For these reasons, experts such as Dr Polverino argues prevention should be the goal before prescribing antibiotics.
In honour of World Immunization Week (24-30 April), the IFA will be releasing joint statements, social media, blogs and articles to raise awareness on the importance of vaccination. Check out @Vaccines4Life to help spread the important message.