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    Adults know needed vaccines, but skip them anyway

    Most adults know what vaccinations they need and about the diseases they prevent, but they still remain non-compliant.

    While cost and access were previously believed to be barriers to adult vaccine compliance, a new study suggests that improving adult vaccination rates can be as simple as a nudge from a physician.

    Peng-Jun Lu, MD, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led the study and said incorporating vaccines as part of the standard patient assessment can help reduce missed opportunities for adult immunization.

    “A healthcare provider recommendation is the strongest predictor of whether adults get vaccinated,” Lu told Medical Economics. “Whether or not they stock vaccines, all healthcare professionals should routinely assess patient vaccine needs and recommend the appropriate vaccines to ensure their patients are protected against serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.”

    Most adults know about vaccine-preventable diseases and which vaccines are recommended, but still don’t get them, according to Lu.

    In the study, “Awareness among adults of vaccine-preventable diseases and recommended vaccinations, United States, 2015,” and published in Vaccine, researchers used data from a 2015 online survey of U.S. adults conducted for CDC and found that a wide range of respondents reported awareness of vaccine-preventable diseases ranged from 63.4% to 94%, but that ranged by disease type. According to the report, participants were most aware of influenza and pneumonia, followed by herpes zoster, hepatitis B, pertussis and tetanus. Respondents were least aware of HPV.

    Knowledge about the disease did not directly correspond to knowledge about a vaccine against that disease, according to the report, with just 59.3% of respondents aware of the herpes zoster vaccine compared to the 75.4% that were aware of the disease.

    Females and college graduates were most knowledgeable about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the report. Awareness was also high among individuals with high-risk conditions, those with higher household incomes, seniors and among individuals with private health insurance.

    Next: Boosting immunization rates

    Rachael Zimlich, RN
    Rachael Zimlich is a freelance writer in Cleveland, Ohio. She writes regularly for Contemporary Pediatrics, Managed Healthcare ...

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