Why Aren’t Adults Getting The Vaccines They Need?
Nearly three quarters (73%) of adults ages 50-59 say it is absolutely essential, extremely important, or very important for adults their age to get vaccinated, however, more than one-third of older adults have never heard of or are unfamiliar with the vaccines recommended for their age group. In fact, 36% of adults ages 50-59 think that only high-risk people (e.g., managing chronic conditions, immuno-compromised, etc.) need adult vaccines, when in fact, many vaccines are recommended for most older adults.
Now, more than ever before, it is important to fully utilize the vaccines we have to help prevent the spread of disease.
A new data cut of a national survey of 3,000 US adults ages 50-79 and 300 US primary care physicians, found:[i]
- Less than half of adults in the US receive most vaccines recommended for them, in part because awareness is low.[ii]
- More than three quarters of older adults (76%) describe their current overall health as excellent or good, with a majority (67%) reporting typically seeing a healthcare provider (HCP) at least once a year, but despite this, they still are lacking on vaccine knowledge and vaccination habits.
- Most physicians (80%) say getting recommended vaccines is one of the most important things older adults can do to stay healthy. Further, nearly all (96%) agree that talking with patients about the value of vaccines should be a priority for all healthcare providers.
- A recommendation from an HCP is the most important factor in motivating older adults (48%) to get their vaccines.
Adults ages 50 and older may need a number of vaccines, based on their age, underlying medical conditions, lifestyle, prior vaccinations and other considerations, including flu, shingles, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis, pertussis and tetanus. For all adults, even those who are more health conscious, more information and discussions with an HCP could play a critical role in improving vaccination and health outcomes.
Vaccines help protect the moments that matter in our lives and are important to help stop the spread of disease.
Dr. Len Friedland, Vice President and Director, Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines at GSK joined me to share more about the survey results and resources to learn more about recommended adult vaccines.
[i] Data on file.
[ii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccination Coverage Among Adults in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 2016. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/coverage/adultvaxview/pubs-resources/NHIS-2016.html