Chris Green MP and the ABPI Vaccine Group were joined yesterday evening by over 40 attendees at a Parliamentary reception in the House of Commons to mark World Immunisation Week. Attendees included Parliamentarians, policy makers, commissioners, patient organisations, professional groups and media.
The event discussed the contribution vaccines make to the NHS' agenda on prevention of ill health. Guest speakers Professor Anthony Scott (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), David Sinclair (International Longevity Centre- UK) and Dr Harish Madhava (Medical Director Pfizer Vaccines, UK and Ireland) also spoke about the opportunities arising from research into and development of new vaccines and vaccine technologies, including the potential role of vaccination in addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.
Vaccination provides significant public health benefits in the UK and only clean water can rival vaccines at reducing infectious diseases and deaths.1 When it was founded, the NHS vaccinated against two diseases.2 Today, the NHS vaccinates against 20 diseases3 and there are currently over 300 vaccines in development, including potential preventative and therapeutic vaccines, to tackle some of the toughest diseases threatening our health in the future, both in the UK and across the globe.4
Professor Anthony Scott, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said "The United Kingdom has one of the most advanced immunisation programmes in the world. It is rapidly responsive to changing patterns of infectious diseases and, as was the case for the new group B meningococcus vaccine, it is often a global leader in new vaccine introduction. High coverage rates for most routine vaccines illustrate how highly it is trusted and valued by parents in the UK."
David Sinclair, International Longevity Centre-UK said "Today's long lives are a testament to the importance of immunisation. It has proved a remarkably cost-effective health intervention, significantly reducing the impact of vaccine preventable diseases. Vaccination remains an important tool for preventing ill health across our whole lives and we must ensure that society doesn't become complacent about this success."
Dr Harish Madhava, Pfizer Vaccines said "Vaccination has saved more lives and prevented more serious diseases than any advance in recent medical history but there are still significant health needs both in the UK and globally that vaccines research is trying to address. Continued commitment to vaccination by the Government, the NHS and other health systems is essential to maintaining global investment in research and development."
The ABPI Vaccine Group is committed to advocating on behalf of the vaccine industry on all aspects of vaccination and the benefits it brings to the health of our nation. The Group aims to work in partnership with the public health community throughout the four nations of the UK to encourage the continued and further success of the national immunisation programmes. This reception was supported by AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Takeda.
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The ABPI Vaccine Group is committed to advocating on behalf of the industry on all aspects of vaccination and the benefits it brings to the health of our nation. The Group aims to work in partnership with the Government and the public health community to encourage the continued and further success of the national immunisation programmes.
The strategic priorities of the group are to: