Adult Vaccination: A Critical Element to a Life Course Approach to Healthy Ageing for Adults with Diabetes

Posted on November 27th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under News

Consensus Statement

Click here for PDF version.

Diabetes is a significant global public health concern with wide ranging social and economic consequences.  In the United Kingdom close to 4 million people live with diabetes,[1] with associated costs expected to reach £16.9 billion by 2035.[2]

Older people with diabetes often deal with additional chronic conditions which together result in a weakened immune system, lowering their defenses against vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) such as influenza,[3] pneumonia[4] and shingles.[5]

On 6-7 September 2018, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) hosted the “Vaccinations and the At-risk Adult Population of Diabetes” expert meeting in Belfast, United Kingdom, in cooperation with Diabetes UK, the leading charity dedicated to people with diabetes in the United Kingdom.

The multidisciplinary meeting brought together experts in the fields of public health, diabetes, ageing, immunology and sociology from Diabetes UK, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, Age NI, ILC-UK, Diabetes Frail Ltd., Dingwall Enterprises Ltd., Pfizer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast and Imperial College London.

These key opinion leaders came together to build capacity and gather resources on the importance of adult vaccination for people with diabetes; share knowledge on successful educational programs and determine optimal ways to push the agenda forward.

A consensus was met on the following:

  1. Vaccination is a critical element of a public health strategy to improve and maintain the health and function of older people with diabetes. Therefore, the primary goal of the meeting was to place adult vaccination as an important preventative approach on the agenda of diabetes organizations
  2. Key barriers to improving uptake rates in this at-risk population are lack of awareness and misinformation surrounding the importance and availability of vaccines to adults with diabetes
  3. Cross-sectoral collaboration is critical to raising vaccination on the agenda of diabetes organizations, in the form of joint campaigns, statements and conferences
  4. Adding evidence-based information on the importance of vaccines for people with diabetes to diabetes self-management programs, diabetes management guidelines (i.e. European Diabetes Working Party for Older People) and diabetes conferences has the potential to play an important role in increasing the uptake rate of vaccination for people with diabetes

Using their collective capabilities and resources, this consensus statement represents delegates’ joint commitment to support cross-sectoral organizations to advocate and mobilize knowledge to their members on the importance of vaccination for adults with diabetes.


Consensus Stakeholders



[1]  Diabetes UK, 2017. Diabetes prevalence 2017. Retrieved from

[2] Diabetes UK, 2012. NHS spending on diabetes ‘to reach £16.9 billion by 2035’. Retrieved from

[3] Goeijenbier, M., Van Sloten, T. T., Slobbe, L., Mathieu, C., van Genderen, P., Beyer, W. E., & Osterhaus, A. D. (2017). Benefits of flu vaccination for persons with diabetes mellitus: a review. Vaccine35(38), 5095-5101.

[4] Garrouste-Orgeas, M., Azoulay, E., Ruckly, S., Schwebel, C., de Montmollin, E., Bedos, J. P., … & Dumenil, A. S. (2018). Diabetes was the only comorbid condition associated with mortality of invasive pneumococcal infection in ICU patients: a multicenter observational study from the Outcomerea research group. Infection, 1-9.

[5] Queenan, J. A., Farahani, P., Ehsani-Moghadam, B., & Birtwhistle, R. V. (2017). The prevalence and risk for herpes zoster infection in adult patients with diabetes mellitus in the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network. Canadian journal of diabetes.

Advocate for the rights of older persons at the United Nations in Geneva

Posted on November 26th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under News

The IFA is an international non-governmental organization with a membership base comprising government, NGOs, academics, industry, and individuals in 70 countries.  With general consultative status at the United Nations and its agencies, and formal relations with the World Health Organization, the IFA has maintained a strong voice in the dialogue on how to best protect the rights and health of older people globally. To enhance this role as a leading advocate, the IFA is recruiting an additional UN representative in Geneva, Switzerland for 2019.

Click here for the position description and how to apply.

Applications are due 17 December, 2018.  Please note that this is a volunteer, unpaid role.

Webinar Announcement: Use of medicines by the elderly – The role of pharmacy in promoting adherence

Posted on November 20th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under News

Population ageing and the consequent increase in the number of people taking multiple medicines for long-term conditions create a need for the development of targeted services to improve care at the community level and quality of life. Enabling people to live a longer and better life should be the overarching goal of every health system. Health professionals, patients and the broader community must work together to achieve this goal.

This webinar is jointly organized by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the International Federation on Ageing (IFA). It will show the important role that pharmacy can play in this area and it will present the recent FIP report after which the webinar is named. International best practices around improving adherence and providing care to older adults will be highlighted, especially in polymedicated elderly patients. The webinar will include a discussion part and the opportunity for questions from the attendees.



This webinar may be especially interesting for:


Two dates, two different times, the same webinar:

  1. Tuesday 27 November, 23:00 (CET) | Register Here
  2. Thursday 29 November, 13:00 (CET) | Register Here 


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