Document Type : Review Article
Recent research has unveiled and confirmed the deleterious age-related changes of the immune system which result in diminished ability of older adults to effectively respond to pathogens and infection. This degradation is defined by the term immunosenescence. Immunosenescence can also bring with it reduced vaccine efficacy. In an era where the population of older adults is growing exponentially, it is apparent why such dysfunction is concerning. Adding even more pertinence is the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March of 2020, older adults across the globe have borne witness to the disproportional effects of COVID-19 infection on their mortality rates versus younger adults and children. In order to bring the pandemic to an end, the global population must be inoculated. However, concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines on the elderly. This article aims to provide a brief overview of immunosenescence, the COVID-19 pandemic, and what research has shown thus far about vaccine efficacy for older adults. As well, potential methods to combat immunosenescence will be explored.