Too Few American Adults Getting Needed Vaccinations:
THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Each year, some 45,000
Americans die from diseases that could have been prevented by
vaccines, health officials said Thursday.
Despite this, the number of American adults who get needed
vaccines remains low, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
"There were some modest increases in coverage, but for very few vaccines," said Dr. Carolyn B. Bridges, associate director of adult immunization at the CDC and co-author of the report. "Coverage is much lower than we would like to see it."
The data was published in the Feb. 3 issue of the CDC's
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
According to the report, 2010 (the latest year covered by the
report) saw only a small increase in the rate of uptake for just
The rate of the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis
(Tdap) vaccination increased 1.6 percent, to 8.2 percent. Tdap
includes protection against pertussis, also known as whooping
cough. Among whites aged 60 and older, use of a vaccine that
protects against shingles rose more than 5 percent to 16.6
Among women aged 19-26, those who got at least one dose of the
human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against about 70
percent of all cervical cancers, increased 3.6 percentage points,
to 20.7 percent, the researchers noted.
For other vaccines, rates remained basically the same. For
example, among high-risk adults aged 19 to 64, only 18.5 percent
received a vaccine that protects against pneumonia. For adults 65
and older, the rate was close to 60 percent overall.
In 2010, the adult vaccination rate for hepatitis A was 10.7
percent and for hepatitis B the vaccination rate was 42 percent,
which is about the same as the 2009 estimate, the researchers
Vaccine rates probably remain low for several reasons, Bridges
said. "There is not enough information about which vaccines are
needed for adults and unlike children, who have regularly scheduled
doctors' visits for vaccines, this is not the case for adults," she
Also, vaccines schedules for adults are more complicated,
Bridges explained. "They are not just based on age, like most of
the pediatric vaccines. Adult vaccines are recommended only for a
certain age or if you have a high-risk medical condition or certain
occupation or travel. So, it's a little bit complicated."
Some adults may have also missed vaccines during childhood, like
the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and should be
vaccinated now, Bridges said.
According to the CDC, ways to improve the rate of adult
vaccinations include education, better access to vaccines,
physician reminders and recall systems.
For more on adult vaccinations, visit the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Copyright © 2012
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.