Life-course immunization as a gateway to health

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2018 Oct;17(10):851-864. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2018.1527690.


Extending the benefits of vaccination against infectious diseases from childhood throughout the entire life-span is becoming an increasingly urgent priority in view of the world's aging population, emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases, and the necessity to invest more on prevention versus cure in global healthcare. Areas covered: This perspective discusses how life-course immunization could benefit human health at all stages of life. To achieve this, the current vaccination paradigm should be changed and all stakeholders have a role to play. Expert commentary: To enhance immunization confidence in the population, it is essential that stakeholders eliminate complacency toward infectious diseases, improve vaccination convenience, remove barriers among different healthcare specialties, and address prevention as a single entity. They must also consider societal and cultural mindsets by understanding and including public viewpoints. A new "4Cs' model encompassing convenience, confidence, complacency, and cultural acceptance is proposed to convert 'vaccine availability' to 'vaccination acceptance' throughout life. Life-course vaccination should become the new social norm of a healthy life-style, along with a healthy diet, adequate physical exercise, and not smoking. We are 'all in' to make life-course immunization a gateway for all people to lead longer, healthier lives.

Keywords: Healthy aging; life-course immunization; maternal immunization; prevention; public health; vaccination behaviors; vaccine confidence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Immunization / methods*
  • Life Style
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Vaccination / methods*