Vaccines for the elderly need to be introduced into the immunization program in India

Type Working Paper - Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics
Title Vaccines for the elderly need to be introduced into the immunization program in India
Volume 10
Issue 8
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 2468-2470
The population in India over age 60 years has tripled in the past 50 years and will relentlessly increase in the near future. According to census 2011, elderly people were 8.1% of the total population, and the projections for population over 60 years over the next 4 censuses are 133 million (2021) expanding to 301 million (2051). In developing countries, the elderly have suffered from both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Moreover, advancing age is associated with decreased immunity along with physiological changes, and poor health leads to increased risk of infectious diseases. Infections such as pneumococcal, influenza, tetanus, and zoster are more common among elderly population. These infections are major causes of morbidity and mortality among the elderly and are responsible for a large number of deaths and hospitalizations. Communicable diseases like influenza and pneumonia are the fifth leading cause of death among elderly persons. A study reported the incidence of nosocomial infections in geriatric patients in India to be ~20%. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the most common microbe associated with Urinary Tract Infection, while Staphylococcus aureus was frequently observed in cases of pneumonia among hospitalized elderly population. In India, because of many reasons, preventive care for elderly persons is often neglected. Among the many infections to which the elderly are prone, some can be prevented by administration of appropriate vaccines. Vaccination of the elderly is one of the most effective means of preventing disease, disability, and death from infectious diseases.

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