Epidemiological Facts Concerning Adult Immunization
- In the U. S., vaccination efforts have decreased deaths due to childhood vaccine-preventable diseases to less than 500 per year. In contrast, during an average year, nearly 50,000 adults die from diseases that are preventable through vaccination. Approximately 36,000 adults die from influenza, over 6,000 from invasive pneumococcal disease, and 5,000 from hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections cause 80% of hepatocellular carcinomas. Annually 4,000-5,000 persons die from HBV-induced chronic liver disease and primary hepatocellular carcinoma.
- A large percentage of physicians who believe they recommend influenza or pneumococcal vaccination for their patients 65 and older do not actually offer vaccine to those patients.
- During most influenza seasons, 10% to 20% of the nation’s population is infected with influenza with an annual estimated cost of approximately $10 billion.
- A physician’s recommendation is the most important reason why people get vaccinated. Even those with negative attitudes about vaccinations will accept vaccination upon their physician’s advice. Low vaccination rates among adult patients represent missed opportunities to vaccinate during health care visits.
- Each year in the U.S., pneumococcal disease accounts for over 100,000 hospitalizations for pneumonia.
- Most tetanus cases occur in adults 60 years of age and older.
- Influenza and pneumonia are the 8th leading cause of death for all age groups and constitute the 7th leading cause of death in persons 65 and older.