According to a recent IQVIA report, between 8 and 119 million doses of adult vaccines will be discontinued in 2021 and 2022 due to the covid-19 pandemic, causing a previously positive trend to collapse.
To arrive at this number, IQVIA experts reproduced two scenarios. The first, using historical data from the pre-pandemic period (2013 to 2019), showed a 7.9% annual increase in vaccinations through 2022. The difference between the projected numbers and actual doses in 2021 and 2022 is 24 million doses injected in 2021 and 57 million doses injected in 2022: 81 million doses are lost. TDaP, shingles, hepatitis B, influenza, and pneumococcal vaccines were included in the analysis. The second scenario is based on data from 2013 to 2020, growing by 8.9% per year and extending this trend to 2022. The difference in this case is 41 million doses in 2021 and 77 million doses in 2022. The total loss was 119 million doses. The average between the two scenarios suggests that 100 million doses of the vaccine were not given to adults over the two-year period.
It concluded that “the pandemic has unraveled the progress made in adult vaccination over the past decade,” leaving behind numbers that had markedly improved before the situation collapsed.
According to the document, adult vaccines (by volume) against influenza, diphtheria and tetanus (Td), diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (TDaP), hepatitis B, herpes zoster and pneumococcus have increased over the past decade. Progress is being made to reach a peak in injection volume in 2020, with a top annual growth rate of 7.9% between 2013 and 2019, including 8.9% in 2020.
“While progress in adult vaccination between 2013 and 2019 is commendable, overall levels of adult vaccination coverage remain low, suggesting further improvement is needed.
Moreover, despite the progress in the field, the increase in vaccines related to these diseases has declined due to the impact of the pandemic. 12% decline between 2020 and 2022 (from 400 million doses to 351 doses).
On the other hand, the authors noted that all countries had low vaccination rates, but the epidemic had a “disproportionately negative impact” on countries with an intermediate or low development index.
Now that new vaccines for adults are available, including immunization for unmet medical needs that would avoid unnecessary health costs, experts are calling for stimulus policies that optimize access to adult vaccinations.
They recommend making vaccination part of the standard of care, including measures such as prioritizing recommendations from the panel of experts guiding policy in this area. They also recommend allocating adequate funding to vaccination programs and placing greater emphasis on prevention.
One of his proposals is to increase the number of people who can be vaccinated, “such as extending it from doctors to pharmacists, creating more access points to improve health equity.”
“As the pandemic has demonstrated, access and convenience play an important role in equitably reaching the adult population, and pharmacists are key providers.”
They also said it was necessary to collect data on vaccinations to assess progress and monitor the process so that priorities could be established. This advice includes consideration of the availability of digital data in national and regional settings.