Health officials highlight adult vaccination rates decline due to COVID-19 pandemic

Virginia

CHANTILLY, Va. (WDVM)– According to health officials, low adult vaccination rates continue to decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most physicians say that getting recommended vaccines is one of the most important things older adults ages 50-79 can do to stay healthy. Health officials said an estimated average of 50,000 Americans die of vaccine-preventable diseases each year, according to Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health Dr. Len Friedland.

Dr. Friedland said it is important to fully utilize the vaccines we do have to prevent the spread of disease. A national survey of 3,000 US adults ages 50-79 and 300 US primary care physicians, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of GSK, found:

  • Most physicians say that getting recommended vaccines is one of the most important things older adults can do to stay healthy
  • Most adults ages 50-79 say vaccines are important to maintain their health, but many have never heard of or are unfamiliar with specific vaccines recommended for their age group
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness among adults about the importance of vaccination and made some more likely to get at least one of the recommended vaccines for adults
  • Most adults in this age group say they need more information about vaccines

According to officials the US spends about $26.5 billion annually treating four major vaccine-preventable diseases such as influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, and pertussis among US adults 50 years and older.


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