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Vaccination in an ageing world: Listening to older people

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The slides from the launch of the report Under the skin: Listening to the voices of older people on influenza vaccination.
The research is based on interviews with older people in Australia, Japan, the UK and Canada, with a particular focus on influenza immunisation. It will highlight the gaps that need to be addressed to achieve a better protection of older adults against influenza through vaccination.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Vaccination in an ageing world: Listening to older people

  1. 1. Vaccination in an ageing world: Listening to older people #UnderTheSkin
  2. 2. Welcome from Chair Baroness Sally Greengross, ILC #UnderTheSkin
  3. 3. Presentation of Research Dan Holden, ILC #UnderTheSkin
  4. 4. The challenge Seasonal flu represents a significant global public health challenge, particularly amongst vulnerable groups like older people. Many countries are below the WHO vaccination target for this group. “I think primary care works really well for kids, we’ve got it ingrained in our heads to go take our kids to the GP, to get them vaccinated, but I just don’t think it’s working in an adult space.” Stakeholder, Australia
  5. 5. Why do attitudes matter? • Evidence to suggest that attitudes are a significant factor in vaccination take up in countries where the vaccine is readily available • As accessibility becomes less of a barrier, attitudes become more so
  6. 6. What did we do • Conducted qualitative research amongst older adults and public health stakeholders in: • UK • Japan • Canada • Australia • To try and understand to what extent attitudes are a factor in vaccine uptake and to understand what they are
  7. 7. What we found • Our research backs up wider research that attitudes are a significant barrier to overcome in increasing vaccination rates, but also shows that stakeholders often don’t focus on this enough. • Vaccine hesitancy in the case of seasonal flu vaccines is a different phenomenon to wider vaccine hesitancy. • A potentially more effective way of addressing these issues would be to engage with the public’s positive attitudes toward their own lifestyles rather than through more traditional messaging.
  8. 8. Vaccinations more often associated with early life Older people tended to associate vaccines as something related to young people. When prompted on later life associations were with flu and shingles. “Well, the first one I had was when I was very young and that was polio, because there was still quite a lot of polio around in Britain.” Male, UK
  9. 9. Mixed associations with ageing Associations with ageing were by and large negative, with some respondents referring to the body “breaking down” with ageing. Some discussion however of importance of personal effort and strength of own immune system. “They can’t fight these things off as well as when you’re younger.” Female, Australia
  10. 10. What are the attitudinal barriers? The attitudinal barriers broadly break down into the following typology: • Not everyone sees themselves as vulnerable to flu. • Not everyone believes the vaccine works. “And if you get your flu vaccination then you get the flu.” Female, UK
  11. 11. Implications for policy and action pt. 1 • Still some work to be done on accessibility issues however they alone will not do enough • The same old approach to public health campaigning may not work in addressing these barriers • The voice of healthcare professionals is important “One of the things that we learned was that older adults don’t think about vaccination in isolation, they think about it in terms of their overall health care.” Stakeholder, Canada
  12. 12. Implications for policy and action pt. 2 • If there is an assumption of personal responsibility for maintaining health and in prevention, we have to understand that older people are active and may not “Even people I’ve spoken to who are well into their 80s, who consider themselves to be healthy and, therefore, they perceive something like the flu vaccine to be a very good thing for the vulnerable older people, of which they’re not one.” Stakeholder, UK
  13. 13. Panel responses Dr Martin Friede, WHO Dr Jane Barratt, IFA Laura Tamblyn Watts, CARP #UnderTheSkin
  14. 14. Q&A #UnderTheSkin
  15. 15. Closing remarks Islene Araujo de Carvalho, WHO #UnderTheSkin
  16. 16. Close Baroness Sally Greengross, ILC #UnderTheSkin

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