Adult vaccination rates low: report

More than 30 percent of adults 65 and older were not immunized against pneumonia in 2008, and adult immunization rates remain low across the board, according to a joint report from the Trust for America's Health, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The groups say the pneumonia vaccination is especially important for seniors due to their increased risk of developing pneumonia as a complication of the seasonal flu.

The report (.pdf file) also found that only 2.1 percent of adults received a tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccine in the past two years; only 10 percent of eligible women received the human papillomavirus vaccine; and only 36.1 percent of adults received the seasonal flu vaccine.

The report indicated routine and recommended vaccinations could prevent an estimated 40,000-50,000 deaths and thousands of illnesses annually. It also identified limited insurance coverage and a lack of understanding about vaccinations as possible reasons for low vaccination rates among adults.

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