19 Sept 2016

Protecting the elderly with vaccines

The elderly are vulnerable to infection, and vaccines can help.
Image: www.newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org
Monash immunologists describe the global health challenge for an ageing demographic, and how developing better vaccines might help.

The world's population is ageing, posing a significant health burden on both the developed and less well-developed nations of the world. Maintaining a healthy aging population is now a major public health priority, and vaccination is an ideal means by which to do this.

Immunity and responses to vaccination decline with age, and the efficacy of current vaccines is poor in the elderly. New and affordable vaccine strategies are urgently required to induce better protection from infectious diseases in the elderly, and provide effective delivery of vaccines to this vulnerable population.

Steeper M, Plebanski M, Flanagan KL. The global challenge and future strategies for keeping the world's aging population healthy by vaccination. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print]

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