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U.S. Adults 'Needlessly Vulnerable' to Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, According to New Report
Date:4/3/2009

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Calls for Increased Immunization Rates among Adults; Launches Comprehensive Web site to Educate Public, Healthcare Providers

BETHESDA, Md., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifty thousand American adults die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases. Hundreds of thousands more are hospitalized and miss work because of infections that could be prevented with vaccines. Yet, most Americans continue to think of vaccines as benefiting only children, not adults.

In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of the adult immunization schedule, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), with support from the nation's leading health organizations, has issued a Call to Action to improve low vaccination rates among adults. Most adults are not protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, leaving them vulnerable to long-term suffering that could result in a high price tag for society.

To help educate the public, healthcare providers and the media, NFID launched a new comprehensive Web site on the importance of adult vaccination at www.adultvaccination.com. The Web site includes critical information on 13 adult diseases and the vaccines recommended to protect against them. The Call to Action also is available for download on the Web site.

"Vaccines are as crucial to our long-term health as are screenings for certain cancers. Unfortunately, many adults associate vaccinations with childhood, or assume influenza is the only vaccine they need," said William Schaffner, MD, President-Elect of NFID and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. "Vaccines are currently available to protect adults against many serious illnesses, but they are significantly under-used, elevating the risk of illness and even death."


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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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