SYMPOSIUM 1 – Protect: Why am I Special? Vaccination for the “Young Once” and Over-18 but with Many Ills
09 November 2023
10:50 – 12:10H
Tan Maw Pin
University of Malaysia
Influenza, Pneumococcal Pneumonia and Shingles are among a growing list of vaccine preventable illnesses in older adults. Older adults present with illness atypically, with common geriatric symptoms including non-specific decline, immobility, incontinence, falls and acute confusional states. Hence, early and accurate diagnosis is often a challenge. Furthermore, the older adult is also at a greater risk of complications, in particular those which extend beyond respiratory and dermatological presentations, including heart attacks, stroke and acute deconditioning. Further, with the disproportionately high usage of hospitals by older adults is well established, hospital services are likely to continue to be stretched beyond capacity, as without major changes in policy, existing healthcare systems are likely to be able to see an expansion in healthcare services to meet the needs of the older population. Vaccination is considered the cornerstone of preventive care, and effective implementation of the national vaccination programme will go some way in reducing avoidable admissions from vaccine preventable disease. However, few countries in Asia currently have adult vaccination programmes, with national immunization programmes heavily focused on children. The rationale many governments provide include lack of funding, vaccine hesitancy and lack of infrastructure to deliver the programme. A combined concerted effort is needed to help generate data and provide advocacy to pressure governments into implementation of adult vaccination programmes.