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New Data Show Unacceptably Low Adult Immunization Rates and That Adults Unaware of Infectious Disease Threat
Date:1/23/2008

Experts Urge Integration of Adult Vaccines into Routine Care to Save Lives,

Reduce Needless Illness

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paint a disappointing picture of adult immunization against serious infectious diseases in the United States. In addition, a new consumer survey shows the vast majority of adult Americans lack awareness of vaccines and the severity of infectious diseases.

An expert panel discussed the data at a press conference held by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), which called for increased use of vaccines in adults to reduce needless illness and deaths associated with infectious diseases.

CDC's National Immunization Survey shows only 2.1 percent of adults 18 to 64 years of age are immunized against tetanus-diphtheria-whooping cough. Immunization to prevent shingles among people 60 and over was only 1.9 percent. Vaccine coverage for the prevention of HPV (human papillomavirus) among women 18 to 26 is about 10 percent. In addition, influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates for the elderly are well below the 90 percent national target rates.

"Routine immunization of children in the United States has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of cases of disease, but vaccines are not just for children," said Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "These new data show there are not yet very many adults taking full advantage of the great advancements in prevention that have been made in the past few years."

"There are now 17 diseases that can be prevented from vaccines given to children, teens and adults. Several vaccines, including three fairly new ones licensed since 2005, are recommended specifically for the adult years. By skipping vaccination, people are leaving themselves needlessly vulne
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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