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:
- 40,000 to 50,000 adults die annually from vaccine-preventable illnesses.
- The health care burden of adult vaccine-preventable diseases is about $10 billion annually.
- Only 36.1 percent of adults were vaccinated against seasonal flu in 2008.
- 33 percent of adults age 65 and older have not been vaccinated against pneumonia, a potential complication of seasonal flu.
- Only 2 percent of eligible adults have been vaccinated against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.
The report offers recommendations to improve the adult immunization rate, including several strategies for the public health community:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local health departments, should receive increased resources to create education programs about adult vaccinations.
- Health providers should set an example by complying with recommended vaccinations.
- The National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC should receive increased resources for vaccine research and development.
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.
Learn how to improve care transitions and prevent avoidable hospital readmissions, and pick up nursing and medical education con-ed credits.
Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas examines the ways that the gambling industry has designed gambling machines that encourag...
Mildred Dalton Manning, the last surviving member of a group of U.S. Army and Navy nurses taken prisoner in the Philippines at the start of ...
The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize honors outstanding community partnerships which are helping people live healthier lives. The six winners w...
A study finds that 96 percent of nurse practitioners and 76 percent of physicians agreed with IOM report recommendation that “nurse practiti...
The strange pull of this series is its humanity, not its horrors.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working to increase awareness and understanding of the impact of ACEs and the need to develop effectiv...
"Many African American men are invisible from health care settings until their health conditions are severe," Keon Gilbert writes.
While the need to address disparities in care is well known, few strategies for reducing disparities have been studied systematically.
Playworks improving the health and well-being of children through safe, meaningful play
A national conversation highlighting efforts to improve care transitions, reduce avoidable hospital readmissions, and lift overall quality o...
Team members, grantees, and guests discuss breakthrough ideas that will allow us to move toward solving challenges in health care.