Little progress made in increasing adult vaccination

There was little progress made in improving adult vaccine coverage between 2011 and 2012, according to a study published on Friday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prepared the study after analyzing data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Compared with 2011, the study found only modest increases in 2012 in Tdap vaccination among adults aged 19-64, herpes zoster vaccination among adults aged 60 or older and human papillomavirus vaccination among women 19 to 26 years old. There were no improvements for other vaccines recommended by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, including the pneumococcal, hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.

While the CDC recommends vaccinations throughout life to prevent disease, adult vaccination coverage is low for most routinely recommended vaccines and is well below goals set forth in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2020. The CDC said that improvement is needed in adult vaccination to reduce the health consequences of disease among adults and to prevent morbidity from pertussis, or whooping cough, among infants.

The CDC said that successful vaccination programs combine education of potential vaccine recipients, publicity to promote vaccination, increased access to vaccination services in medical settings and the use of practices shown to increase coverage. Such activities include the assessment of practice level vaccination rates with feedback to staff members, standing order programs for vaccination, efforts to remove administrative and financial barriers to vaccination and reminder-recall systems.

The ACIP's adult immunization schedule is updated annually and provides current recommendations for vaccinating adults.