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More than 30 percent of seniors are not immunized against pneumonia in 36 states
Date:2/4/2010

day, the vast majority of vaccine-preventable diseases, hospitalization and deaths occur among adults. This is tragic, because currently-available vaccines can prevent many of these illnesses," said William Schaffner, MD, FIDSA, chair of IDSA's Immunization Work Group and co-author of the report.

The report identified several key reasons why adult vaccination rates remain low in the United States despite the recommendation of medical experts, including:

  • Limited access: Most adults are outside of institutionalized settings, like the military or colleges, where vaccines can be required;

  • Limited care and insurance coverage: Primary and preventive care for adults is limited, particularly for the uninsured and underinsured;

  • Limited financing for immunizations: Many adults have medical insurance that does not pay for vaccines and their administration, so out-of-pocket costs may be prohibitive for many individuals;

  • Misunderstanding and misinformation: Many adults are misinformed about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines; and

  • Limited research and development: Vaccine research, development, and production have been limited in the United States for decades.

"This country has a first-rate system for immunizing children, but too many adults are falling through the cracks," said Richard J. Whitley, MD, FIDSA, president of IDSA. "Clearly, we need to build a better system for immunizing adults."

"Thousands of adults die each year from vaccine preventable diseases, yet adult vaccination rates remain low," said Litjen (LJ) Tan, MS, PhD, Director of Medicine and Public Health for the American Medical Association. "The health care community can take a lead role in raising immunization rates by educating their adult patients on the safety and efficacy of vaccines and letting them know that getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect themselves and loved ones from disease."


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Contact: John Heys
jheys@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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