Update: 24.03.2023 15:55
Prague – Vaccination against influenza and pneumococci could prolong healthy life in old age. Research from the last 15 years has shown that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or heart attacks has decreased in those who have been vaccinated. The head of the International Federation for Aging (IFA) Jane Barrattová and the head of the Association of Social Service Providers (APSS) Jiří Horecký, who now chairs the world association for aging Global Aging Network (GAN), told journalists in Prague today. According to Horecký, about 27 percent of people over the age of 65 have been vaccinated in the Czech Republic, so the vaccination rate is below the average of EU countries. Vaccination is to be supported by an information campaign starting in September.
“In addition to the fact that vaccination against influenza and pneumococcal infections significantly reduces the risk of developing or the severity of the course of these diseases, according to findings, the incidence of civilization diseases is reduced – by 30 to 40 percent in Alzheimer’s disease, by 22 percent in cerebrovascular accidents or by 17 percent in heart attacks. This is information that is not known or is not widespread and that is relatively new,” said Horecký. He refers to research from the last 15 years on the connections between vaccination results and the occurrence of civilization diseases. The list of studies was presented by IFA and GAN at a press conference. Researchers compared the results of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of vaccinated and unvaccinated patients with various diseases.
Life in the Czech Republic is gradually getting longer. But it is still shorter than in Western countries. According to preliminary data from statisticians, last year the average lifespan for men reached 76.1 years and for women 81.9 years. Last year, 65-year-old men had an average of 16 years ahead of them, and 65-year-old women 19.8 years. During covid, life was noticeably shortened, now it is returning to its pre-epidemic length.
According to Barrattová, the most important thing is prolonging healthy life. Representatives of GAN and IFA are convinced that vaccines against influenza and pneumococci can make a secondary contribution to this by reducing the risks of civilizational diseases. According to the goal of the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccination should protect 75 percent of people over 65, Horecký specified. “If we strengthen prevention and keep people healthy longer, the percentage of GDP spending on long-term care will be lower,” Barrattová pointed out.
Experts believe that information about reducing the risk of civilization diseases can reduce reluctance or hesitation to get vaccinated. The campaign that APSS should start on September 1 has to contribute to this. He wants to target 60,000 residents of senior homes, 100,000 clients of field services and 50,000 employees who provide care. According to Horecký, the organizers of the awareness event will not convince or force anyone to get vaccinated. They want to focus precisely on informing about new knowledge.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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