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Young Adults Unaware of Threat of Infectious Disease and the Availability of Preventive Vaccines
Date:7/22/2009

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Adult Vaccination Levels Lag

The latest data from CDC show that there are still too few Americans taking advantage of vaccines recommended to protect them from infectious diseases. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination levels remain at 66.6 percent and 60 percent, respectively, for those over age 65. Other adult vaccination levels are lower - 6.7 percent for shingles in those 60 and older; about 10 percent for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in women 19 to 26 years of age and about 15 percent for Tdap in those 19 to 64 years of age.

It should be noted that Tdap booster is recommended in place of one tetanus-diphtheria (Td) booster vaccine, which is recommended every 10 years. Since Tdap has only been licensed since June 10, 2005, a substantial portion of the population has not yet reached the 10-year timing milestone since their last Td vaccine. The coverage level for any Td-containing vaccine is 64 percent for those 19 to 49 years of age, 63 percent for those 50 to 64 years of age and 52 percent for those 65 and older.

While influenza and pneumococcal vaccination levels are highest and have remained somewhat steady, these rates are disappointing, because influenza and pneumococcal vaccines have long been a part of the adult schedule and the coverage goal is 90 percent. Also of concern are racial and ethnic disparities in coverage levels in people 65 and older. Influenza coverage level in non-Hispanic whites in this age group is above the national average at 69 percent, while the rates for non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanic persons 65-plus are well below at 53 percent and 51 percent, respectively. Similarly, for pneumococcal disease, whites 65-plus have higher coverage levels than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics at 64 percent, 44 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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