Poised to enhance quality healthcare for patients in tandem with best global practice, multinational biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer in collaboration with the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Oyo State, has introduced a policy on adult immunisation.
The pharma company disclosed in a statement made available to pharmanewsonline, the essence of the policy, which is to focus on vaccination for adults.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies immunisation as a key component of primary healthcare and an indisputable human right. It’s also one of the best health investments money can buy.
It says vaccines are critical to the prevention and control of infectious disease outbreaks, as they underpin global health security and will be a vital tool in the battle against antimicrobial resistance.
Cluster Lead for West Africa/Country Manager Nigeria, Pfizer, Pharm. Olayinka Subair, explained what informed the formulation of the policy on adults’ vaccination, saying while pediatric age has been targeted for majority of vaccination over the years, adults may be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases, as some childhood vaccines can wear off over time.
He said Pfizer has a long history in vaccine research and development through the development of innovative delivery systems and technologies.
“We’ve created scalable solutions that address prevention of deadly bacterial infections.
“The key to maintaining and building on these advances is constant vigilance and continued access to immunisations is essential to preserving the progress we’ve made against vaccine-preventable conditions and strengthening our ability to address emerging health threats”, Subair affirmed.
Most of the high-income countries, he noted have developed policy to enhance universal vaccination of adults. He averred that despite the universal immunisation coverage in high income countries, Nigerian adults are yet to be reached.
The Chief Medical Director of University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, expressed the delight of the hospital in partnering Pfizer in spearheading an adult vaccination policy for the institution.
He disclosed that the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (ACIP) of the Centre for Disease Control has developed an approach for the administration of the vaccine referred to as H-A-L-O approach.
“This is an easy-to-use chart that can help healthcare providers make an initial decision about vaccinating a client/patient based on four factors – the client/patient’s health condition-H, age-A, lifestyle-L, and occupation-O”, he stated.
Otegbayo however admitted that in some situations, vaccination can be done without considering these factors.
According to Subair “Globally, vaccines have provided a more positive impact on public health than any other medical intervention. Over the years, paediatric age group has been targeted by majority of the vaccines developed. Protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time. Consequently, adults may be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases”.
He further expatiated on some recommended vaccines for adults, which could be divided into those for the general population and those indicated for individuals with specific risk factors such as pre-existing chronic diseases or multi-morbidities, compromised immune system, travel, or potential occupational risks such as exposure of healthcare workers.