A recent survey revealed that many adults in the U.S. are not taking recommended vaccinations that could protect them from serious diseases.
In the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, which included a national representative sample of the U.S. population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the adult vaccination rates are significantly low, especially among vaccines that could prevent serious diseases.
The CDC’s report revealed that the rate of some vaccines increased. The statistics for Tdap shots, which prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, increased to roughly 16 percent between 2011 and 2012, Herpes Zoster shots increased to 20 percent and anti-cervical cancer shots increased to 35 percent.
However, the rates of some equally important vaccines were either way below the target or have remained the same. Pneumonia, for instance remained at 20 percent for high-risks and 60 percent for seniors, while anti-flu vaccines was noted way below the target.
Adults present different reasons for not taking the vaccine, but, “Mythology surrounding vaccination is the greatest obstacle,” Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told HealthDay. “In spite of all the press about the rise of whooping cough, for instance, patients still may refuse vaccination.”
The rates of adult vaccination still remain “depressingly low,” Horovitz added.
CDC recommended that medical practitioners should review vaccination histories of their patients and inform them of what vaccine are needed during routine visits to increase the rates of vaccinations. A reminder-recall system might help, too.
They also need to disseminate information about the vaccines including their purposes and benefits.
“Vaccinations are mostly likely low in the healthy adult population who do not regularly seek health care and who do not have underlying diseases,” said Debra Spicehandler, an infectious disease specialist at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., to HealthDay. “Nationwide campaigns to focus on all adults should be started.”
Findings of this survey were published in the Feb. 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.