Elderly's organization calls for vaccinating over-65's

Union KBO, the largest organization for elderly people in the Netherlands, wants people over 65 to be vaccinated against common infectious diseases in the elderly, such as hepatitis A, shingles and pneumococcus, NOS reports. At this stage elderly people can only get a free flu shot at the doctor once a year.

KBO points to a study done by UMC Utrecht on the vaccination against pneumococcus - a bacteria that can cause pneumonia - that found that vaccination can half the number of hospitalizations for pneumonia. According to KBO director Manon Vanderkaa, this could save a great deal on healthcare costs. She believes that there will be a broad interest in additional vaccinations, based on the enthusiasm for the flu shot.

Later this year the Health Council will present a report on vaccination of elderly people. A spokesperson told NOS that he does not think there will be a national vaccination program for the elderly in the short term.