Leaving no one behind: Defining and implementing an integrated life course approach to vaccination across the next decade as part of the immunization Agenda 2030

Vaccine. 2022 Dec 8:S0264-410X(22)01452-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.11.039. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Strategic Priority 4 (SP4) of the Immunization Agenda 2030 aims to ensure that all people benefit from recommended immunizations throughout the life-course, integrated with essential health services. Therefore, it is necessary for immunization programs to have coordination and collaboration across all health programs. Although there has been progress, immunization platforms in the second year of life and beyond need continued strengthening, including booster doses and catch-up vaccination, for all ages, and recommended vaccines for older age groups. We note gaps in current vaccination programs policies and achieved coverage, in the second year of life and beyond. In 2021, the second dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV2), given in the second year of life, achieved 71% global coverage vs 81% for MCV1. For adolescents, 60% of all countries have adopted human papillomavirus vaccines in their vaccination schedule with a global coverage rate of only 12 percent in 2021. Approximately 65% of the countries recommend influenza vaccines for older adults, high-risk adults and pregnant women, and only 25% recommended pneumococcal vaccines for older adults. To achieve an integrated life course approach to vaccination, we reviewed the evidence, gaps, and strategies in four focus areas: generating evidence for disease burden and potential vaccine impact in older age groups; building awareness and shifting policy beyond early childhood; building integrated delivery approaches throughout the life course; and identifying missed opportunities for vaccination, implementing catch-up strategies, and monitoring vaccination throughout the life course. We identified needs, such as tailoring strategies to the local context, conducting research and advocacy to mobilize resources and build political will. Mustering sufficient financial support and demand for an integrated life course approach to vaccination, particularly in times of COVID-19, is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Keywords: Adult vaccination; IA2030; Immunization; Life course.