Interesting article: adult vaccinations

Avatar for joolsplus2
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Interesting article: adult vaccinations
3
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 12:16am
Now, even as a pro-vaxxer, some of the "it's a given and a good thing that babies are vaxxed" language in this piece kind of annoyed me (I guess I lurk here enough that I DO at least question some vaxxing!...you all are sinking in ;)...but I think it's interesting and maybe a good thing that they are saying more adults need vaxxes for some things, like flu, that can be fatal...what do you all think? http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/09/opinion/09WED2.html?th

Most adults ensure that their children are vaccinated against childhood diseases, but many neglect to get their own immunizations. Even those who are well informed about health do not seem to know that adults, too, need vaccines. Nearly 50,000 adults die in America each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that these illnesses cost society $10 billion a year. Reaching adults with vaccines takes creative thinking, but it can be done, as has been shown by France and other countries with effective adult vaccination programs.

While all children need basic immunizations, adults have more varied needs, an obstacle to getting out the vaccine message. People over 50 and anyone with chronic heart, lung or kidney problems should get annual flu vaccinations. But in 2001 only a quarter of the adults from 18 to 64 with a specific risk of flu were vaccinated. People 65 and older and those with special health problems should also be vaccinated against pneumococcal disease — the most common cause of pneumonia, accounting for some 175,000 hospitalizations each year. In addition, a vaccine can protect against hepatitis B, which is transmitted through sex and shared needles and kills 5,000 adults a year in the United States.

Adults should also get a tetanus booster every 10 years. Certain people should be vaccinated against hepatitis A, chickenpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps and rubella. In the next few years vaccines are likely to become available against the herpes virus and the human papillomavirus — the world's most prevalent sexually transmitted infection and the leading cause of cervical cancer.

Children benefit from a good vaccine structure. Pediatricians inform parents about vaccines and are equipped to administer them. Schools and day care centers require proof of immunization. In most cases, an insurance company or the government pays for vaccines. Many states have a computerized registry to track immunizations.

Adults have none of these advantages. They tend to see doctors only when they are sick, and those doctors are often specialists who rarely mention vaccines. Despite the fact that adult vaccines are extremely cost-effective, Medicare and insurance coverage is spotty. Adults are often unsure of which shots they have had.

As children's vaccine coverage has improved, money has become available in the last five years to create a better system for adult vaccinations. But it has a long way to go. The hepatitis B vaccine should be available in prisons, at college health clinics and at sexually transmitted disease clinics. All doctors' offices and hospitals should provide information about adult vaccines, and clinics and doctors who see patients on a regular basis, like gynecologists, urologists and cardiologists, should offer vaccines. State registries for children could be expanded to allow adults to keep track of their own immunization histories online. It is worth investing in ways to promote a basic, cost-effective health measure that not only helps protect adults, but also everyone in their households.

Julie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 10:44am
Great article! I'd also like to see MenC available at the college campuses too. For oldre adults, there is a great void of information being given at regular visits.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 4:47pm
I pers. have no issue with adult vaccinations and information regarding them being “available”. I do have an issue with any trend towards mandates of even over-zealous promotion, such as “recommendations” coupled with penalties (as already occurs with vaccines marketed for children).

There has recently been a declaration by the medical community that doctors should “ensure” that ALL patients they encounter in a hospital above a certain age are vaccinated against pneumonia before they check out. Now, how vigorously this new goal will be pursued by various doctors remains to be seen, esp. if it becomes linked to incentives (if it has not already; just today read an article on the feds wanting to reward Medicaid/care participating hospitals with more funds for “performance”, which would presumably include rates of “recommended” vaccination)

You are sure right about the tone of this article, lol!

This quote in particular jumped out at me;

>>>While all children need basic immunizations, adults have more varied needs<<<

Uh, CHILDREN have “varied needs” as well, imo. Why is childhood vaccination never presented as something to be done in consideration of the particular needs/situations of the child, but as a blanket, one-size-fits-all mandate? Even to the point of writing “ALL children NEED” instead of “It is recommended that most children” or something that acknowledges the fact that NO, “ALL” children do NOT “NEED” vaccination. Some have contraindications, or are not particularly at risk for or from certain illnesses, etc. This is not even considering the aspect of parental choice, mind you.

I suspect the main reason for this recent focus on adult vaccinations has more to do with the fact that the childhood market is fairly saturated and shifting to adults opens up a whole ‘nother, and potentially even more lucrative, market, than with pressing health needs. JMHO.

But absolutely; should be available for those who choose it.

Kimberly


Avatar for suschi
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 5:54pm
Here comes the gearing up for the adult vaccines that are currently in production. Gotta get the market hungry before the goods are delivered. They want to create the desire before the product is ready. Watch for more articles like this to appear. They are creating a need that they are ready to fill.

I find it amazing that with all these UNPROTECTED, UNIMMUNIZED adults running around, that the VPD's have not made a raging comeback. What if we stopped vaccinating indeed. Adults are your pool of the unprotected, yet you don't see them dropping like flies from VPD's.

I know they haven't pushed vaccines for adults in the past, because they have no way to FORCE them to get them, YET.

Christine