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Many Adults Unprotected Against Vaccine-Preventable Disease

Few adults aged 19 years and older had received all age-appropriate vaccines, including influenza vaccination

FRIDAY, May 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Many U.S. adults remain unprotected against vaccine-preventable diseases, according to research published in the May 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Peng-Jun Lu, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined vaccination coverage among adults using data from the National Health Interview Survey. Receipt of influenza, pneumococcal, herpes zoster, tetanus and diphtheria (Td), tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and at least one dose of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines was assessed in adults.

The researchers found that in all age groups, coverage for the adult age-appropriate composite measure was low. There were racial and ethnic differences in coverage for all vaccinations; compared with non-Hispanic White adults, non-Whites had lower coverage for most vaccinations. For most vaccines, there was an increase seen in coverage from 2010 to 2018. Few adults aged 19 years and older had received all age-appropriate vaccines, including influenza vaccination (13.5 percent with inclusion of Tdap; 20.2 percent with inclusion of any tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine). Compared with the 2016 to 2017 season, during the 2017 to 2018 season, coverage for influenza vaccination was similar (46.1 versus 45.4 percent); estimates were similar for 2017 and 2018 for coverage for pneumococcal, herpes zoster, tetanus, Tdap, hepatitis A, and HPV vaccination.

“Because of COVID-19-related reductions in persons accessing vaccination services, it is important to assess the vaccination status of all patients at each visit to avoid missed opportunities for vaccination and ensure timely vaccine catch-up,” the authors write.

Two authors are employees of Leidos Inc.

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