Archive for Thursday, February 4, 2010

Report finds immunization rates for American adults dismal, far behind children’s rates

February 4, 2010


Routine vaccinations can save lives, yet millions of American adults are NOT getting them despite the recommendations of top medical experts.

Vaccine-preventable diseases kill more Americans every year than traffic accidents or breast cancer.

Immunizations can prevent:

• 40,000 deaths per year.

• Thousands of illnesses.

• $10 billion in health care costs.

Each year:

• 36,000 — people die from seasonal flu.

• 5,000 — die from pneumonia.

• 1 million — suffer from shingles.

• 20 million — are infected with human papillomavirus and are at risk for cervical cancer.

• 800,000 — have chronic viral hepatitis B infection.

Yet, in 2007 only:

• 2 percent — of eligible adults, ages 18 to 64, received the tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough vaccine.

• 2 percent — of adults over age 60 received a shingles vaccine.

• 10 percent — of eligible adult women, ages 18 to 26, got the human papillomavirus vaccine.

• 36 percent — of adults were vaccinated for seasonal flu. In Kansas, it was 37 percent.

• 67 percent — of adults over 65 were immunized against pneumonia. Kansas ranked 32nd with 69 percent. CDC’s goal is 90 percent.

Jeffrey Levi

Jeffrey Levi

Dr. William Schaffner

Dr. William Schaffner

“Thousands of lives could be saved each year if we could increase the number of adults who receive routine and recommended vaccinations. To achieve that goal, 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.”

— Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health

The barriers:

Limited access. There is no institutionalized setting, like schools, where vaccines can be required.

Limited care. Many adults don’t have a primary care doctor or get regular checkups, especially those who are uninsured. Often older adults see specialists who don’t focus on immunizations, such as cardiologists or neurologists. Also, adults often seek acute care and not preventive.

Costs. Often health insurance doesn’t pay for vaccines.

Misunderstanding. Many adults are misinformed about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Lack of funding. Money for research, development and production has been limited, partly because there isn’t a market for it in the U.S. compared to other countries where the government pays for it.


Close coverage gaps. Providers, including Medicare, should be required to offer full coverage for all recommended vaccines. Also, create a Vaccines for Uninsured Adults program.

Public education. Provide health departments with more resources to increase awareness about safety and effectiveness.

Standard care. Reviewing immunization records should be offered at appropriate medical encounters such as physicals, cancer screenings and pre-natal visits. This is expected to become easier with electronic medical records. Provide resources so doctors can get required software and staff training for immunizations.

Funding. The National Institutes of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration need more resources for research, development and production.


“Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives” was released Thursday by Trust for America’s Health, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

We have extraordinarily high immunization rates in children. This is the product of a long-term commitment to deliver vaccine to children. We would like to extend this now beyond the 19th birthday.”

— Dr. William Schaffner, chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Immunization Work Group


kusp8 4 years, 10 months ago

Actually you ARE required to be vacinated against certain diseases efore elementary school. However, despite the state and/or US Supre Court ruling that it IS legal for schools to demand vacinations regardless of religious beliefs schools refuse to kick students out if they are not vacinated.

planetwax 4 years, 10 months ago

Take a look at how many doctors are AGAINST vaccines.

Also, my mother landed in the hospital and almost died after taking her first flu shot. This article is propaganda.

"• Misunderstanding. Many adults are misinformed about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines."

Oh, really? Many doctors happen to be adults, and they are also misinformed about vaccines. Are there ANY studies to show the synchronization effects of multiple vaccines? No. Doctors largely only treat symptoms and never attempt to find and remove the cause of illness. Allopathic medicine is a paradigm and approach to treating illness that lands more people in their graves than most wars. They call it iatrogenic causes of death. Most doctors essentially know nothing about health and the creation of it.

Journal World. Please stop fear-mongering and trying to get people to eat more pills and put foreign substances into their blood. PLEASE, stop!

Karrey Britt 4 years, 10 months ago

According to the report: There is considerable evidence that immunizations are effective: • In the United States, mass vaccination has eliminated polio; • Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide through widespread immunization; • Among U.S. children, the recommended immunization series prevents approximately 10.5 million cases of infectious illness a year and 33,000 deaths. • An economic evaluation of the impact of seven vaccines — diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT), tetanus and diphtheria (Td), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), polio, hepatitis B, and varicella (chicken pox), and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), routinely given to children found that these seven vaccines prevent more than 14 million cases of disease and more than 33,500 deaths during the lifetime of children born in any given year in the United States, and annually save $10 billion in direct medical costs and more than $40 billion in indirect societal costs.

fissuregirl 4 years, 10 months ago

I thought reporting had to do with facts and gathering all the information not providing one sided beliefs which the writer obviously supports (I think it's hard to miss that) and has some pretty ridiculous statements through out the entire thing.

Why not interview people on the both side of the subject, interview doctors that support vax'ing AND doctors that DON"T support vax'ing? How about interviewing people that have Religious convictions against vax'ing and those that believe vax'ing has saved their life? How about putting some objectiveness into the article instead of propaganda.

rothstein05 4 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Truami 4 years, 10 months ago

No thank you, I believe in Evolution unlike most of our elected officials.

kugrad 4 years, 10 months ago

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. There is no international conspiracy to cover up the harmful effects of vaccinations. An incredibly small number of people have adverse reactions to common vaccinations. The real fear-mongering is the internet-driven anti-vaccine crowd who are threatening all of us and our children by helping diseases that were virtually eliminated by vaccinations make a comeback and adding to the already existing problem of diminishing effectiveness of antibiotics. Vaccinations are safe.

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