World Immunisation Week is a time to reflect on the importance of vaccination in preventing disease across the globe and to raise awareness of the value effective vaccination programmes can bring to the UK population.
Darius Hughes is the UK Head of Pfizer Vaccines and Chair of the ABPI Vaccines Group
As Chair of the ABPI Vaccines Group, and a firm believer in the need to raise awareness of the value of vaccination, I was pleased that during World Immunisation week we launched a series of infographics capturing the Public Health Impact, the Economic Impact and the Future of Vaccines for the UK. The development of the infographics, and the launch at Westminster, was an important initiative for the Vaccines Group in supporting our aim to work with Government and the public health community to encourage the continued and further success of our national immunisation programme.
The infographics are available for all stakeholders to use to help inform communications and vaccination policy.
The economic and social impact of vaccines
Immunisation is one of the most cost-effective ways to save lives, improve health and ensure long-term prosperity, and in the UK, immunisation policy is rightly recognised as a public health success story to be proud of. Successive governments have put in place the investment required to provide quality immunisation services to the public, free-of-charge, through the NHS and we need to ensure that there is appropriate investment in vaccination to meet the challenges facing us now and in the future. These challenges include; reducing preventable disease across all age groups, supporting healthy ageing, and the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
Public health benefits of vaccination
There is strong support amongst the public in the UK for vaccination, evidenced by relatively high levels of vaccination uptake and the recent public campaign calling for the meningitis B vaccine to be offered to all children. To ensure appropriate access to vaccination both now and in the future, we need to be confident that the system for appraising the clinical and cost-effectiveness of vaccines takes into account the full value of vaccination and that appraisals are fair, transparent and accountable.
The future of vaccines
The members of the ABPI Vaccines Group are extremely proud to be part of the vaccination success story in the UK. We hope that our work helps to support understanding of the value of vaccines and informs future developments to deliver on the Department of Health's ambitions for Public Health and the NHS's prevention agenda.