Population aging is the demographic phenomenon characterizing all countries in the world, and it is challenging the national infrastructures, in particular health systems. However, aging itself is not associated with increased medical spending, but disability and comorbidity that affect older individuals are the actual drivers for health expenditures. Therefore, if people age in better health, medical spending may be significantly reduced. Preventative interventions proved to be effective in reducing/preventing disease and disability and often found to be cost effective, include diet and exercise interventions, medications, routine disease screenings, and immunizations. Vaccination can protect older citizens against life-threatening diseases, such as influenza, pneumococcal infections, tetanus, and against diseases which adversely impact their quality of life, such as herpes zoster (HZ). Including HZ vaccination in its citizens’ lifetime immunization calendar can reinforce Europe’s commitment toward active, healthy aging. This paper outlines the consensus statement of a group of Italian experts on HZ.
- Geriatrics and Gerontology