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

m and should be the goal for all adults as part of good preventive care and wellness," said Dr. Schuchat. "We need to make a strong, long-term commitment to adult immunization as a nation if we are to realize the full benefits of the many vaccines available to us."

While the NFID-sponsored survey found that most adults were very familiar with flu and chickenpox, both of which can be prevented by vaccines, it found that most adults were not very familiar with a host of other infectious diseases that can be prevented with vaccines. In addition to pneumococcal disease, these include shingles, hepatitis B, pertussis and HPV, which causes cervical cancer.

Although young adults were more likely than older adults to be very familiar with HPV and pneumococcal disease, they were much less likely than older adults to be aware of the threat from other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Physicians Have Most Influence Over Whether Adults Are Vaccinated

The survey found that personal physicians had the most influence on whether adults are aware of vaccine-preventable diseases and whether they keep up with their vaccinations, and that people who get annual physical exams are more likely to be vaccinated than those who don't visit their doctor every year.

At the news conference, Stanley A. Gall, MD, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at the University of Louisville, said that OB-GYN doctors could play an important role in making sure that the women they see are up-to-date with vaccinations. "Women may not only make better decisions about their own immunity based on input from an OB-GYN, but they may also bring immunization messages home to other family members," he said.

Robert H. Hopkins, MD, associate professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, called for stepped-up attention to the fact that adults need to take a m
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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