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[Recommendations] Recommendations for Better Immunization and Vaccine Use Along the Individual Life Course for All Ages, Occupations, and Lifestyles (August 31, 2022)

[Recommendations] Recommendations for Better Immunization and Vaccine Use Along the Individual Life Course for All Ages, Occupations, and Lifestyles (August 31, 2022)

Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) has released policy recommendations entitled, “Recommendations for Better Immunization and Vaccine Use Along the Individual Life Course for All Ages, Occupations, and Lifestyles.”

Establishing immunization and vaccine policies based on life course factors was considered an important issue in the policy recommendations released previously by the HGPI in June 2021 entitled, “A Life Course Approach to Immunization and Vaccination Policy – Five Perspectives and Recommended Actions.” The HGPI brought together experts with a shared sense of need to tackle this issue and summarized their discussions. The current recommendations are a summary of that discussion, including key points regarding future initiatives. Through these recommendations, we hope that Japan’s immunization and vaccine policies will be promoted, that discussions will expand in within the industry, government, academia and civil society to establish a system that protects the health, safety, and socioeconomic activities of citizens from vaccine preventable diseases (VPD), and that specific measures will be put into practice.


1. Reinforcing immunization and vaccination policies to support the nation’s health through better immunization coverage

  • Access
    • Build systems to eliminate disparities in immunization and vaccine access caused by differences in local vaccination policies or in the vaccination systems of local healthcare institutions
  • Affordability
    • Provide public funding to reduce out-of-pocket costs and increase immunization coverage
    • The need for perspectives on cost-effectiveness when considering public subsidies and for a system for evaluating cost-effectiveness
  • Awareness
    • Reinforce systems for providing easy-to-understand, effective information regarding disease and vaccination information for the life course
    • Strengthen efforts to disseminate information while taking primary information sources for each age group into account
  • Acceptance
    • Add information to compulsory education curriculums that fosters comprehensive public understanding toward immunization and vaccination policies and the risks and benefits of vaccines
    • Foster understanding toward VPDs and their disease burdens to create a basis for understanding toward vaccination benefits, and reinforce communication strategies for this purpose
    • Reinforce appropriate communication strategies for topics like vaccine safety, adverse reactions, and the Relief System for Adverse Drug Reactions
  • Activation
    • Enhance reminders to provide the right information at the right times for each life stage and horizontally expand best practices from each municipality
    • Promote messaging from schools, workplaces, and other organizations people belong to
  • Initiatives needed from each stakeholder
    • Build an environment for decision-making in which broad stakeholders surrounding vaccinated people and society are united and without information disparities
    • Conduct thorough analyses of the effects that vaccination categories (routine or voluntary, Category A or B, etc.) have on vaccination rates as well as periodic reviews of the system based on the latest evidence
    • Create systems that foster creativity and ingenuity among municipal governments, the organizations responsible for implementing vaccination programs
    • Review the influence of the media in disseminating information and consider its role more closely in the future
    • Reinforce education for healthcare professionals that covers immunizations and communicating related information to patients in their roles as health specialists
    • Refer to the immunization and vaccination system used during the COVID-19 pandemic to better utilize public health centers and regional public health laboratories and to enhance multi-stakeholder collaboration

2. Promoting immunization and vaccine program administration along the individual life course 

  • Steps for promoting immunization and vaccination policies along the life course
    • Reinforce systems for conducting vaccination programs along the life course
  • Reinforcing the immunization environment surrounding parents to promote immunizations for infants and children
    • Advance efforts to promote vaccinations together with maternal and child health programs and school health programs
    • Strengthen messaging on the importance of vaccinating children to achieve herd immunity during emergencies 
  • Effectively disseminating information to adolescents and adults with relatively low vaccination rates
    • Reinforce strong recommendations from the national Government to reach those eligible for vaccination
    • Consider methods of handling the spread of biased information on adverse reactions and adverse events
    • Reinforce infectious disease countermeasures with both antibody tests and immunizations to aim for herd immunity
  • Promoting the spread of accurate, easy-to-understand information through health and long-term care professionals who are close to elderly people
    • Reinforce systems for building awareness using easy-to-understand information through family doctors and during health examinations for older adults
    • In addition to age, recommend immunizations based on VPD prevalence and associated risks


Working Group 1 “Life Course Approach” Members (Titles omitted; in alphabetical order; affiliations and positions current as of plenary session)

Working Group Members

  • Kyoko Ama(Representative, Children and Healthcare Project)
  • Hidenori Arai(President, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology; Vice President, The Japan Geriatrics Society)
  • Kanako Inaba(Director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kanto Central Hospital; Representative, Minpapi! Let’s Learn About HPV Project; Member, Corowakun Supporters)
  • Satoshi Iwata(Director, Department of Infectious Diseases, National Cancer Center Hospital; Visiting Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases, Keio University School of Medicine; Chairperson, The Expert Council on Promotion of Vaccination)
  • Kazunori Oishi(Chief, Toyama Institute of Health; Honorary Member, National Institute of Infectious Diseases)
  • Yoko Katakura(Director, Policy and Public Affairs Department, Policy and Public Affairs Division, Pfizer Japan Inc.)
  • Hideaki Nagai(Director, Department of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo National Hospital, National Hospital Organization)
  • Daisuke Watanabe(Professor, Department of Dermatology, Aichi Medical University)


Special Advisors

  • Keizo Takemi(Member, House of Councilors; Chairperson, Association for the Promotion of Improved Public Health through Vaccinations, Parliamentary Group for Vaccines and Prevention)
  • Noriko Furuya(Member, House of Representatives; Acting Chairperson, Association for the Promotion of Improved Public Health through Vaccinations, Parliamentary Group for Vaccines and Prevention)

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