Millions of adults living in the U.S. are not up to date on their needed immunizations, leaving them at risk for preventable illnesses and even death, according to a new report released by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), the Infectious Diseases Society and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
According to the report, key reasons for the low immunization rates include a lack of knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, limited access to immunization and limited research and development of new vaccines in the United States.
“We need a national strategy to make vaccines a regular part of medical care and to educate Americans about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines,” said Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director of TFAH.
Significant findings in the report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives, include:
The report offers recommendations to improve the adult immunization rate, including several strategies for the public health community:
The CDC’s National Immunization Program offers an interactive vaccine scheduler health departments may find valuable in their efforts to educate providers and communities about adult immunizations. Find the scheduler at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/Scheduler/AdultScheduler.htm.