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Registrations Now Open for the Virtual Workshop: Informing National Adult Immunization Strategies and Actions in Germany and France

30 May 2024

Vaccine-preventable respiratory diseases (VPRDs), including influenza, COVID-19, pneumococcal pneumonia, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pose an ever-increasing threat around the world, particularly in the context of declining immunization rates, increased burden of disease and strained health care systems. Various strategies, including the Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health, the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing, and the Immunization Agenda 2030, have collectively and independently called for a life-course approach to immunization policy.

Recognizing the opportunities and challenges associated with population ageing, there is a need to maximize effective national public health interventions, including immunization, which can contribute to living healthier lives and trajectories.

Attend the virtual workshop Informing National Adult Immunization Strategies and Action in Germany and France. The overarching purpose of the workshop is to leverage the work of experts, organizations, and government at a national level in France and Germany to develop a targeted approach to immunization policy, in consideration of country-specific context, policies, programs and attitudes towards immunization.

The Speakers

Dr. Jens Gobrecht

Director of the Brussels Representation and International Affairs, The German Association of Pharmacists

Jens Gobrecht is the director of the Brussels Representation and International Affairs of ABDA – Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists. He holds a doctorate in Medicine from the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, as well as a Master in Public Health from the Medical School of Hannover, Germany, and a Master in Business Administration from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, USA.

He has more than 25 years of national (inter alia Ministry of Health, Germany), European (German delegate to the Council to the European Union and private sector) and international experience (WHO, FIP, WPC) in Public Health, Health Systems and Healthcare Management, specialised in globalisation and trade in health, the organisation and steering of health systems and health policy.

Prof. Catherine Weil-Olivier

Honorary Professor of Paediatrics, Paris-Cité VII University 

Prof. Catherine Weil-Olivier is a paediatrician and vaccine expert with over 30 years of dedicated service. She earned her medical degree in Paris and has been a Professor of Paediatrics at Paris VII University since 1989.

Prof. Weil-Olivier has authored over 200 international publications in paediatric infectious diseases and currently holds a trusteeship with the Coalition for Life Course Immunization, where she continues to advocate for healthcare excellence and immunization efforts.

From 1995 to 2005, she held the prestigious position of Head of the Department of General Paediatrics at Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris. Her expertise has been sought in various capacities over the last two decades. This includes serving as an expert for the French Drug Agency (AFSSAPS, now ANSM), where she worked in the technical group to register vaccines, antibiotics, and anti-virals, a Core Member of the European Medicines Agency Vaccine Working Party, a valued member of European Centre for Control and Prevention (ECDC) working groups, Infovac France and several French paediatric groups. Her involvement with French health policy extends to being a member of the national French Technical Committee on Vaccination and the National Committee against Influenza.

Mr. Mariano Votta,

Director, Active Citizenship Network

Mr. Mariano Votta has over 20 years of experience in advocacy, stakeholder engagement, European projects, communication, and civic information. He began his career working in journalism as Communication Officer at Cittadinanzattiva, an NGO founded in Italy more than 40 years ago to promote citizens’ activism for the protection of rights, the care of common goods, the support for people in conditions of weakness. In this position, he was involved at the international level within the United Nations Development Programme, where he worked as a consultant in Public Services and Communication in Colombia.

He then moved on to take up his current position as the Director of Active Citizenship Network (ACN). In this role, he oversees Public Affairs and Project Management at the EU level. Since then, he has been actively involved as ACN stepped up its advocacy activities at the EU Institutions, which led to the opening of a representative office in Brussel in 2014. After that, he led the political initiative to launch in 2015 the MEP Interest Group “EU Patients’ Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare,” endorsed by nearly 100 organisations across Europe, and the MEP Interest Group “SDGs for wellbeing and consumer protection” in 2021.

In 2022 he has been officially appointed by the EU Commission as a member of the HERA Civil Society Forum, the expert group of the HERA Advisory Forum, led by the European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). He is also on the Board/Executive Committee of Health First Europe, European Movement-Italy, “AMR Patient Alliance” led by IAPO, Member of the “Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination” promoted by Vaccines Europe, Independent Advisor of the “Adult Immunization Board”, Honorary Member at the European Association for Educational and Preventive Health in Epigenetics.

The Workshop Programme

Informing National Adult Immunization Strategies and Action in Germany and France

20 June 2024

14:00- 14:05

Welcome and opening remarks

Ms. Katrina Bouzanis, International Federation on Ageing


Overview of IFA initiative “Informing National Adult Immunization Strategies and Actions in Germany and France” and presentation of the National Report Card

Ms. Elizabeth Lewis, International Federation on Ageing


Adult vaccination in Germany and France through the lens of Prevention, Access, and Equity

Increasing the vaccination rates of older adults must be a central focus to promote healthy ageing and quality of life into later years. Addressing the importance of immunization, this session will be guided by the three pillars of Prevention, Access, and Equity.

Vaccinations prevent the onset of diseases or lessen their severity, reducing the burden on healthcare systems. This is particularly important for older adults, who are more likely to experience severe complications, loss of function and hospitalization due to vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). To address the Prevention Pillar, attendees will discuss the current policy environments in Germany and France and national strategies that support vaccination.

Increasing the ease and range of available sites to access vaccination can reduce the spread of disease, support maintaining function, and improving the overall health of citizens. To address the Access Pillar, attendees will discuss the implementation of vaccine strategies and highlight the functionality of vaccination policies once translated into action.

Vaccine equity ensures that everyone, regardless of their social position, has access to disease preventative measures. To address the Equity pillar of this session, attendees will discuss the importance of targeted immunization efforts and the role of civil society organizations. Speakers will address what challenges CSOs are experiencing in promoting immunization for older adults, and the importance of addressing the social determinants of health.

Prevention Pillar: Current national strategies to support immunization for older adults in France

Professor Catherine Weil-Olivier, Honorary Professor of Paediatrics, Paris-Cité VII University

Access Pillar: Expanding vaccine administration sites, and the role of pharmacists and physicians in vaccine administration

Dr. Jens Gobrecht, Director of the Brussels Representation and International Affairs, The German Association of Pharmacists

Equity Pillar: Engaging civil society in health promotion and advocacy

Mr. Mariano Votta, Director, Active Citizenship Network



Moderated Discussion

A moderated discussion will be held, with directed questions for each presenter, as well as opportunities for attendees to ask questions. The goal of this discussion is for attendees to collaborate in the creation of a roadmap for action to support adult immunization in Germany and France.



Concluding Remarks

Ms. Katrina Bouzanis, International Federation on Ageing

Download the Programme here

The Workshop Programme

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