Influencing Action on Shingles Vaccination Policy

Presented by: IFA

Older adults are at the highest risk of Shingles infection, with 24-30% of individuals developing shingles over their lifetime. As individuals age, the waning of their immune system prevents immune-response to varicella zoster virus allowing for reactivation of the virus in later years. Additionally, older adults are more likely to have additional immunosuppressive conditions leading to comorbidity with shingles. Without preventative interventions, Shingles can cause painful, debilitating symptoms that can limit the functional ability of individuals and place additional burdens on healthcare systems. Vaccination has proven effective in preventing shingles and its complications for years post-vaccination. The prevalence of shingles in populations will continue to impact a significant proportion of older people if there is no change to supportive policy. As vaccination remains the most effective preventative measure for shingles, there is an urgent need to have shingles vaccination included in national immunisation programs and supportive policy. This promotes vaccination throughout the life course, thus providing a mechanism for preventative care and healthy ageing.

As part of Shingles Awareness Week, this webinar aims to provide information on the importance of Shingles immunisation for adults and provide an overview of the current status of Shingles vaccine policy in Europe. It also serves as a platform for knowledge exchange by fostering open discussion on the role of Shingles vaccines in national immunisation plans so that shingles is on the agenda for patient, ageing and professional organizations to influence change in adult shingles vaccination policy and consequently, improve vaccine uptake rates.