Adult Immunization

HPV-vaccineYesterday, Womenshealth.gov, the official website of the Office on Women s Health of the US Department of Health and Human Services published the story of Michelle Whitlock, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer a month before her 27th birthday. The author describes the shock of receiving the diagnosis, as she had always thought it could never happen to her. I kept thinking: Not me, I am not that girl, she writes.

The cancer was a result of being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually-transmitted infection in the U.S., and...

Immunization against vaccine preventable diseases is one of the most important and beneficial public health measures available. However, utilization rates among adults remain low, well below Department of Health and Human Services target levels. Nearly 50,000 adults die each year in the U.S. from one of the 10 vaccine preventable diseases identified by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and...

The current "swine flu" problem is a reminder that the U.S. pays too little attention to the important broader issue of Adult Immunization and that too few adults are getting the shots they need, even though most kids are getting theirs. Scientists associated with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) have researched and written a thorough, comprehensive report on this largely-neglected topic, available in three formats:

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Although vaccination is acknowledged to be one of the most cost-effective public health strategies available to prevent many communicable viral and bacterial infections, large numbers of Americans above the age of 18 remain vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. Although upwards of 90% of children receive most of the vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, variable and generally low rates of coverage are the norm for...

This brochure explains the current status of vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. It explains the causes for low rates of vaccine use and continues with a description of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases and their current immunization recommendations. As we shall see, the evidence is overwhelming that increasing adult immunization rates can improve public health, reducing the enormous expense of these serious, and preventable, diseases.

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