From December 2017 to March 2018, Scotland experienced a 75% increase in winter deaths compared to the previous year, according to a recent BBC article. In fact, the number of winter deaths is the highest it has been in Scotland in 18 years, reaching a count of 23,137.
The main reason for this alarming increase is due to influenza and pneumonia. Older people and those with underlying chronic diseases are at higher risk for vaccine preventable diseases such as pneumonia and influenza. Age Scotland urged older people to decrease their risk of illness by keeping their houses warm and getting vaccinated. Contact Dr Mine Durusu Tanriover for more information on why older people and those with chronic disease are at a higher risk for vaccine preventable diseases.
As a result of the staggering increase of winter deaths, the Scottish government has begun work to determine the link between winter deaths and influenza, and urges at-risk groups to get vaccinated before the flu season begins. Contact Prof David Salisbury to learn more on the role governments can play in increasing vaccination uptake rates.
The International Federation on Ageing is committed to the prevention of vaccine preventable diseases in older people to maintain health and functional ability in later life. Follow @Vaccines4Life to be kept informed on this important topic.
Dr. Mine Durusu-Tanriover Professor of Internal Medicine
Author of more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Durusu-Tanriover's research area mainly consists of acute care and adult vaccination
Prof. David Salisbury President, Governing Council
Trained as a paediatrician in Oxford and London, and is a visiting professor at Imperial College, London