Improving the delivery of flu vaccine for the older people in times of economic recession: What social epidemiology tells us, and what else we need to know
Volume 7, Issue 9
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Pages 986 - 988http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/hv.7.9.16693
Authors: Carlos Chiatti, Pamela Barbadoro, Giovanni Lamura, Francesco Di Stanislao and Emilia Prospero View affiliations
Despite controversies, flu vaccine programs targeted to the older people are highly recommended and represent a common public health policy in industrialized Countries. Although demographic ageing will increase the share of population at higher risk of influenza, today economic recession is putting public budgets under pressure. Underfunding of prevention is becoming a larger problem, as prevention expenditure generally appears easier to cut compared to other front-line services like hospital bed-placement. In this commentary, after revising existing evidence and current economic scenario, we identify examples of promising topics for future research in the area of flu vaccination, with regard inter alia to: (1) the re-design of national vaccination programs (possible to be achieved also by using a comparative approach); (2) up to date economic evaluations of different national delivery systems; (3) the development of innovative interventions aimed at improving vaccine coverage and addressing also "hard-to-reach" segments of the older population.
Received: May 24, 2011; Accepted: May 29, 2011