U.S. adult vaccination levels low

Feb. 2, 2012 at 11:06 PM
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ATLANTA, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Approximately 45,000 adults die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases, while adult vaccination coverage remains low, U.S. researchers said.

A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said apart from influenza vaccination -- recommended for all adults -- adult vaccines target different populations based on age, certain medical conditions, behavioral risk factors such as injection drug use, occupation, travel and other indications.

To assess adult vaccine coverage for those age 19 and older, CDC analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey.

The report summarizes the results of that analysis for pneumococcal, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, herpes zoster (shingles) and human papillomavirus vaccines, as well as tetanus antigen-containing vaccines, including tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine.

Compared with results of the 2009 NHIS survey, vaccination increases in adults were observed only for tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination for those ages 19-64 -- a 1.6 percentage point increase to 8.2 percent; zoster (shingles) vaccination among persons age 60 and older, a 4.4 percentage point increase to 14.4 percent; and one dose or more of HPV vaccination in women ages 19-26 years, a 3.6 percentage point increase to 20.7 percent coverage.

"Substantial increases are needed to reduce the occurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases among adults," CDC officials said.

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