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Des vaccins pour une population vieillissante

SEATTLE – La population mondiale devient de plus en plus nombreuse et de plus en plus âgée. Avec les personnes âgées en passe de dépasser les plus jeunes (d'ici 2050, il y aura presque trois fois plus de personnes âgées de 65 ans et plus que de personnes de moins de 4 ans), beaucoup de gens craignent que le fardeau sur les budgets publics, sur les systèmes de santé et sur les économies ne devienne insoutenable. Mais il y a une chose que nous pouvons faire pour soulager cette charge : améliorer la santé des personnes âgées.

Lorsque nous vieillissons, nos corps subissent des changements complexes qui, entre autres choses, affaiblissent progressivement notre capacité à répondre aux infections et à développer une immunité (ce phénomène s'appelle l'immunosenescence). C'est pour cette raison que les maladies chez les adultes plus âgés ont tendance à être plus graves et à avoir un plus fort impact sur la qualité de vie, sur le handicap et la mortalité, par rapport aux mêmes maladies chez les patients plus jeunes.

En d'autres termes, les systèmes immunitaires des adultes vieillissants ont besoin d'assistance. C'est là que les vaccins entrent en jeu.

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