The EU Research and Innovation programme HORIZON 2020 has awarded a contract to the ISOLDA consortium, led by Stiftung Tieraerztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo), to develop improved vaccines against viral infections for older adults.
The average age of citizens of the European Union (EU) is increasing, with currently 20% aged over 65. Ageing is one of the main health-related challenges within the EU, and promoting healthy ageing is a key priority. Increased susceptibility to infectious diseases and their associated complications, related to altered immune responses, threatens the health of older adults. In addition, senescence-related reduced immune function negatively affects the effectiveness of vaccination and contributes to lower protection provided by current vaccines in older adults. Another challenge is related to increased risk of adverse reactions in individuals over 60 following vaccination, in particular with live-attenuated vaccines. Identifying key factors causing poor and/or adverse responses to vaccination in older adults, and devising counter-strategies to circumvent these issues, are essential to improve vaccine-induced immune responses and achieve better vaccination-mediated protection against viral infections in this expanding vulnerable population.
In this consortium, 7 partners have joined to develop improved vaccines against viral infections for older adults.