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National Vaccine Advisory Committee recommends increased adolescent immunization
Date:7/7/2008

bstantially by state and by health condition. This variability could have a major impact on our nation's ability to achieve immunization coverage in this age group. Significant and potentially controversial issues arise upon making a vaccination available to adolescents especially in nontraditional settings.

Convincing adolescents and young adults to engage in preventive behaviors is difficult. Current programs have not been successful in immunizing a major portion of adolescents with the tetanus booster. Without a new approach to communication and new communications materials, the public, providers, parents, and the adolescents themselves may not understand the need and the appropriate timing of these vaccinations.

These new vaccines for adolescents are among the most expensive vaccines recommended today for any age group. Their aggregate estimated price per adolescent in the private sector is approximately $500. This has the potential to put a considerable strain on both the public and private financing sectors. These costs, when combined with the fact that fewer adolescents have insurance coverage for preventive services, must be addressed.

Surveillance is important to effective implementation and evaluation of public health programs. U.S. surveillance systems have limited capacity to yield data related to disease burden, vaccination coverage, and vaccination impact among adolescents. For surveillance systems to work, many healthcare providers will require education regarding the importance of disease reporting, adverse event reporting, and participating in immunization information systems.

School-entry requirements, or mandates, have proven to be an effective mechanism to raise immunization rates among children in the U.S. Because some of these new vaccines differ from older vaccines with regard to the nature of transmission of the disease they prevent, they raise novel legal and policy issues that must be addressed to determ
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Contact: AJPM Editorial Office
eAJPM@ucsd.edu
858-457-7292
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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