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Adult Vaccine Preventable Disease Awareness and Improvement Month


WHEREAS, vaccines have aided in reducing the burden of widespread and often fatal diseases, enabling individuals to lead longer and healthier lives while reducing health care costs; and

WHEREAS, although much attention has been paid to the importance of childhood vaccinations there is a general lack of awareness of adult recommended vaccines among adults and a misperception that adult immunizations are unnecessary for the healthy¹; and

WHEREAS, adult Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPDs), including diseases such as influenza and pneumonia, are a critical public health issue in the United States; and

WHEREAS, influenza and pneumonia represent the seventh leading cause of death among U.S. adults aged 65 years or older²; and

WHEREAS, as the population across the United States continues to age, the impact of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases on adults will likely increase; and ³

WHEREAS, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases can result in complications for adults with chronic conditions, including long-term illness, hospitalization, and death4; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends a variety of vaccines for adults aged 18 and older, including some recommendations that are universal and others that are targeted to individuals of a certain age, with specific risk factors, or who may have missed certain childhood vaccines5;; and
WHEREAS, the CDC has consistently seen adult vaccination compliance fall below targets, and aims to increase compliance for influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination in adults as a part of its Healthy People 2020 goals; 6; and

WHEREAS, studies have shown adult vaccination coverage is significantly lower among Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic whites7;; and

WHEREAS, only 54 percent of Hispanic adults age 65 and older received the influenza vaccine in 2010 compared to 65 percent of white adults, and only 39 percent of Hispanic adults received the pneumonia vaccine compared with 63 percent of white adults8;

1 Johnson DR, et al. Barriers to Adult Immunization .Am J Med. 2008;121(7 suppl 2):S28-S35.
2 http://nccd.cdc.gov/DPH_Aging/Indicator/IndicatorSummary.aspx?indId=34&CatId=49
3 http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/national_adult_immunization_plan_draft.pdf
4 http://www.cdc.gov/features/vaccineschronicconditions/
5 http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/national_adult_immunization_plan_draft.pdf
6 http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/immunization-and-infectious-diseases/objectives
7 Lu, Peng-jun et al. “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Vaccination Coverage Among Adult Populations in the U.S.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 49.6 (2015): S412-S425.
8 http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_institute/health/2011/racial-and-ethnic-disparities-in-immunization-rates-among-medicare-beneficiaries-AARP-ppi-health.pdf