Adults forget how important vaccines are for them as well as children! They should receive vaccines to protect them from getting serious preventable illnesses. Unfortunately, far too few adults are receiving the recommended vaccines, leaving themselves and their loved ones vulnerable to serious diseases.
Why do adults need vaccinations?
- Disease knows no age: Vaccines are recommended for adults as young as 19 years old.
- Many adults may no longer be protected by vaccines received in childhood or weren’t fully immunized as a child.
- Booster doses for some vaccines (e.g., whooping cough) are recommended to remain protected.
Not only can vaccine-preventable diseases make you very sick, but also may risk you spreading certain diseases to others. That’s a risk most of us do not want to take. Babies, older adults and people with weakened immune systems (like those undergoing cancer treatment) are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases. They are also more likely to have severe illness and complications if they are exposed. You can not only protect personal health, but also can protect the health of loved ones and even the public by receiving recommended vaccines.
Visit your primary healthcare provider or pharmacist to receive a vaccine status assessment!
To celebrate the importance of immunizations and to help remind adults that they need vaccines too, AQIN is recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This is an opportunity to remind adults to protect themselves against the flu, whooping cough, tetanus, shingles, and pneumococcal disease.
NIAM is an annual campaign that runs from August 12 through August 20. It was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the recommended vaccinations. NIAM is sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC). For more information on the observance, visit NPHIC's NIAM website at https://www.nphic.org/niam
Vaccines Adults Should Receive and When:
- Influenza (flu) vaccine- Yearly
- Td or Tdap vaccine-Once
Note: Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot- Every 10 years (women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant)
- Zoster vaccine- Age 60
- One or two pneumococcal vaccines- Age 65
Adult vaccines are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, risk conditions, locations of travel, and previous vaccines.
All adults should talk to their care professionals to make sure they are up to date on the recommended vaccines.
AQIN is working with physicians, clinicians, pharmacists, home health agencies, and stakeholders in New York, the District of Columbia and South Carolina to improve immunization rates, improve documentation of patients’ immunization status and encourage reporting to Department of Health’s Immunization Information Systems (IIS).
Despite improvement in vaccination rates, the current rates are still below the goals of Healthy People 2020. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Influenza infections are associated with thousands of deaths every year in the United States, with the majority of deaths from seasonal influenza occurring among adults aged ≥65 years.
- It is estimated that about 900,000 Americans get pneumococcal pneumonia each year and about 5-7% die from it.
- An estimated 15%–30% of the general population experience herpes zoster during their lifetimes. This proportion is likely to increase as life expectancy increases.
- The most common complication of herpes zoster, particularly in older persons, is post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), the persistence of sometimes debilitating pain weeks to months after resolution of herpes zoster.
Goals of the project:
Achieve immunization rates of
- 70% for influenza
- 90% for pneumococcal
- 30% for herpes zoster
AQIN is supporting certified home health agencies that join the project to improve assessment of immunization status by:
Providing educational programs, best practices, intervention tools, resources.
- Identifying opportunities to enhance communication among home health agencies and other care providers.
- Providing assistance to review reports of immunization status from cardiovascular data registry and identify areas for improvement
For Medicare Beneficiaries
Although immunizations for children are usually emphasized, adults need vaccinations, as well. This is not only to prevent illness in yourself, but to protect others around you.
According to the CDC), too few adults are getting their recommended vaccines. Every year thousands of adults in the U.S. still suffer serious health problems, are hospitalized, and even die due to diseases for which vaccines are available.
The CDC recommends that adults receive the following immunizations:
- Seasonal influenza vaccine
- Td or Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
- Pneumococcal vaccine
- Herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine
Take A Stand: Vaccines Standing Orders Benefit Patients and Practices (Assess, Administer, and Document)
May 17, 2016
1:30 - 2:30pm ET
Adult Immunizations Update for 2016-2017
August 31, 2016
Speaker: Aileen Bown, PharmD
Adult Immunizations - Get Yours Now! How Providers Can Improve Immunization Rates
July 24th, 2017
Speaker: Angela Shen
To learn more about this Immunization Project or to join the project, please contact your local representative