Asia’s population is ageing. By 2050, 62% of the population will be made up of older adults – making Asia the oldest region in the world. Older age brings with new opportunities – opportunities to pursue new activities in the form of further education and exciting career extensions, and also contribute in many ways for family members and giving back to society through acts of volunteering. Yet, the extent of these opportunities and contributions crucially depends on one factor: good health. As populations age, chronic health complications such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease rise in tandem – and older adults may be at an increased risk of developing health complications as a consequence of infectious disease too.
The United Nations has proclaimed 2021-2030 to be the Decade of Healthy Ageing, to improve the lives of older people, their families and communities. An equally important and complementary strategy is that of the World Health Organization’s Immunization Agenda 2030, to ensure that everyone, everywhere, at every age, fully benefits from vaccines to improve health and wellbeing – including older adults.
Despite the benefits of vaccination being widely recognised as one of the most effective and cost-saving public health interventions, life-course immunisation uptake rates remain low across Asia-Pacific.
In response, the EU-ASEAN Business Council, KPMG in Singapore and Sanofi, with the support of the Western Pacific Pharmaceutical Forum have undertaken insight gathering activities across Southeast Asia on the topic of healthy ageing with the role of life-course immunisation.