Adults forget how important vaccines are for them as well as children! They should receive vaccines to protect them from getting serious preventable illnesses. According to the CDC, too few adults are getting their recommended vaccines. Every year thousands of adults in the U.S. suffer serious health problems and are hospitalized due to preventable diseases that could ultimately lead to death.
Although immunizations for children are usually emphasized, adults need vaccinations, as well. Not only can vaccine-preventable diseases make you very sick, but also may risk you spreading certain diseases to others.
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.
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 50
- 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.
What we do:
AQIN is working with physicians, clinicians, pharmacists, pharmacies 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.
Despite improvement in vaccination rates, the current rates are still below the goals of Healthy People 2020.
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 and 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.
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.
- 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.