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Vaccins voor een vergrijzende bevolking

SEATTLE – De wereldbevolking wordt groter – en ouder. Nu ouderen hun jongere wederhelften bijna in getal overtreffen – in 2050 zullen er bijna drie keer meer mensen zijn die 65 of ouder zijn dan kinderen onder de 4 - vrezen velen dat de druk op overheidsbegrotingen, de gezondheidszorg, en de economie onhoudbaar zal worden. Maar er is iets dat we kunnen doen om deze lasten te verlichten; de gezondheid van ouderen verbeteren.

Terwijl we ouder worden ondergaan onze lichamen complexe veranderingen die onder andere progressief onze macht om op infecties te reageren en om immuniteit te ontwikkelen (dit heet immunosenescentie) verzwakken. Dit is de reden dat ziekten voor oudere volwassen erger neigen te zijn dan dezelfde ziekten in jongere patiënten, met een grotere impact op kwaliteit van leven, handicaps, en sterfte.

Simpel gezegd hebben de immuunsystemen van ouder wordende volwassenen extra ondersteuning nodig. Dit is waar vaccins naar voren komen.

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