US Pharm. 2012;37(8):10.

Vaccination of individuals who are at risk for complications from influenza and invasive pneumococcal disease is a vital public health strategy. Data from the CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics reveal a gradual increase in vaccination rates. In 2009, immunization rates for children aged 19 to 35 months were 93% for polio, 92% for hepatitis B, 90% for measles, mumps, and rubella, 90% for chickenpox, and 84% for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Eighty percent and 55% of children in this age group were administered pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, respectively. PCV is recommended for all children aged less than 59 months. Children older than 24 months who are at high risk for pneumococcal disease and adults who have risk factors may receive the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of adults who received pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations increased by 23.4% and 22%, respectively. With increasing age, the number of immunized adults increased for pneumonia and influenza—from 7.3% to 66% in those aged 18 to 49 years and 25.2% to 68.2% in those aged 75 years and older. Vaccination was more likely in elderly persons with more education.

Pneumococcal Vaccination: Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of noninstitutionalized adults aged 65 years and older who ever received a pneumococcal vaccination increased from 53% to 60%. In 2010, 55% of those aged 65 to 74 years and 66% of those aged 75 years and older ever received pneumococcal vaccination. Between 2000 and 2010, the percentages of noninstitutionalized adults who had ever received pneumococcal vaccination increased from 48.2% to 54.6% (age 65-74 years) and from 59.1% to 66% (age ≥75 years). Although the number of females who were vaccinated for pneumonia surpassed the number of males, the gender difference increased from 3.5% to 6.4% between 2000 and 2010.

Influenza Vaccination: In 2010, about half of noninstitutionalized adults aged 50 years and older had received influenza vaccination, ranging from 42% of those aged 50 to 64 years to 68% of those aged 75 years and older. Between 2000 and 2010, influenza vaccination for noninstitutionalized adults increased by 47% and 20% among those aged 18 to 49 years and 50 to 64 years, respectively, but was stable (64%) among those aged 65 years and older. Declines in influenza vaccination coverage in 2005 were related to a vaccine shortage. In 2000, 45.9% and 49.5% of adult males and females, respectively, were vaccinated for influenza; in 2010, these numbers increased to 47.4% and 53.2%, respectively.

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