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A policy toolkit aimed at FIP member organisations and seeking to accelerate pharmacy-based life-course immunisation is published today by FIP. A life-course immunisation approach recognises that health is shaped by a series of events that occur throughout life, including vaccinations known to benefit specific age groups and vulnerable groups.
Disease prevention and health promotion is just as important during older age as it is in childhood, the authors of the toolkit write. For example, older adults are more vulnerable to more severe forms of several vaccine-preventable diseases, including influenza, COVID-19 and pneumococcal pneumonia. The World Health Organization Immunization Agenda 2030, recommends that all member states adopt a life-course approach to immunisation and the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing Action Plan 2021–2030 urges the scale up of age-friendly primary health care to provide a comprehensive range of services for older people, including vaccination.
Harnessing the power that pharmacists have to deliver the life-course approach to vaccination is key, the authors say. The toolkit “Supporting life-course immunisation through pharmacy-based vaccination: enabling equity, access and sustainability” outlines three key policy areas that need to be addressed: 1) Regulations and prescribing; 2) Service remuneration models; and 3) Access to data and vaccination records. For each area, case studies from different countries are presented along with enablers and barriers.