New Analysis Shows Lost Ground on Adult Immunisation During the Pandemic with 100 Million Doses Potentially Missed

  • Despite successes in Covid-19 vaccination programmes, global uptake of some other adult vaccines fell during the same timeframe—compounding already low adoption of adult immunisation
  • Data also show investment in adult vaccines remains low at less than 2% of total pharmaceutical expenditure in all regions
  • The analysis provides new evidence on why changes are needed, given existing data that show adult vaccine-preventable diseases are a major cause of morbidity, mortality and healthcare cost

London, UK (July 19, 2023) – New data shared today by GSK, in collaboration with the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science and the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), estimate approximately 100 million fewer doses of some adult vaccines (excluding Covid-19 vaccines) were administered in 2021 and 2022 than anticipated, based on the global vaccination adoption trends observed from 2013 to 2020, compounding already low adoption rates pre-pandemic.

This is shown in a newly commissioned report, funded by GSK, highlighting trends in adult immunisation globally and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on vaccine uptake in the adult population. According to the analysis, despite the success of Covid-19 adult vaccination programmes—with 132 doses of Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered for every 100 adults in 2022—only 16.2 doses per 100 adults were delivered globally for some other adult vaccines.

The analysis also shows that the Covid-19 pandemic had a particularly negative impact on adult vaccination uptake in countries in the medium or low category on the Human Development Index (HDI), an index which takes into account life expectancy, education and per capita income.1 Countries such as India, Morocco, Philippines (medium category) and Pakistan, Senegal, Togo and others (low category) had substantial declines in adult vaccination during the pandemic, and rates have also failed to recover, remaining below trendlines. Countries with a “very high” HDI, including USA, most of Europe, Japan and others, were making the most progress in adult immunisation prior to the pandemic. These countries also saw a decline in uptake, after hitting a peak in 2020-2021, from which they are still recovering.

Piyali Mukherjee, VP Global Vaccines Medical Affairs GSK said: “While significant strides in vaccine development have delivered vaccines to help prolong the health span of adults,2 data shows that we are falling short on protecting adults around the world from vaccine-preventable diseases. Improving access to adult immunisation is part of the solution to support healthy ageing, create robust workforces, improve healthcare capacity, and increase socioeconomic and health systems resiliency. We are committed to collaborating with GCOA, IQVIA and other experts, advocates and communities to ensure more adults can readily access vaccination programmes.”

Adult immunisation can be associated with improved health and quality of life, in some cases reducing the risk of hospitalisation by half and death by one third.3 Despite this, vaccination rates for adults are almost always lower than in paediatric populations.3 Over 80% of the vaccines in development by Vaccines Europe members, a group representing vaccine companies of all sizes operating in Europe, target adults,4 ushering in a new era for science. However, with investment in adult vaccines representing less than 2% of total pharmaceutical expenditure in all regions, there is ample opportunity to invest more proactively in prevention versus spending on avoidable sick care and hospitalisation. It is estimated that every €1 a government invests in vaccination for adults over the age of 50 could generate a return of €4 due to impact on growth, productivity, and workforce participation, as well as on tax and pension systems.5

To improve vaccination rates, adult immunisation needs to be made a standard of care. Robust national immunisation programmes (NIPs) that integrate adult vaccination recommendations could help improve the implementation of adult immunisation programmes. Adult vaccination schedules that simplify timings for adults to receive vaccinations, alongside additional points of vaccination and an increase in the number of vaccinators will support broad access. Vaccination uptake tracking and target setting would enable ongoing assessment of policy interventions and support introduction of further measures over time.

Michael W. Hodin, CEO, GCOA said: “Similar to Covid-19 vaccine policy, it’s critical that we frame all adult vaccinations as not only valuable for adult health but also for society as a whole. The health of our adult population is a critical factor in the overarching health of our global economy, and thus, prevention is a tool of positive impact for health systems overall. Broad access to adult vaccines will also help to make significant progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Decade of Healthy Ageing. Everyone invested in healthy longevity, from employers focused on their workforce to healthcare professionals, stands to benefit from a life course approach to immunisation.”

GSK aims to positively impact the health of more than 2.5 billion people by the end of 2030. Developing innovative adult vaccines can potentially contribute to reaching this goal, alongside collaborations with advocacy partners and gathering of real-time data to set benchmarks, track progress, and understand the effectiveness of measures taken.

For more detail on the global adult vaccination trend analysis and full methodology, see

About The Global Coalition on Aging

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population aging. GCOA uniquely brings together global corporations across industry sectors with common strategic interests in aging populations, a comprehensive and systemic understanding of aging, and an optimistic view of its impact. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications, GCOA is advancing innovative solutions and working to ensure global aging is a path for fiscally sustainable economic growth, social value creation and wealth enhancement. For more information, visit:

About The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science

The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Sciences contributes to the advancement of human health globally through timely research, insightful analysis and scientific expertise applied to granular non-identified patient-level data.

About GSK

GSK is a global biopharma company with a purpose to unite science, technology, and talent to get ahead of disease together. Find out more at

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D ‘Risk factors” in the company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2022, and Q1 Results for 2023 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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