Life-course immunization: Building the consensus for adult vaccination

female adult

By Lois Privor-Dumm

Vaccines are an essential part of the care of babies and children, offering protection from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pneumonia, and polio, diseases that once harmed or killed thousands of U.S. children every year and that still kill thousands around the world. Sometimes forgotten is that adults can also benefit from vaccines. To prevent unnecessary deaths and improve public health, the U.S. and other countries need to take more seriously the concept of life-course vaccination, an approach to ensure that immunization programs are effectively implemented for people at all ages and stages of life.

In the 2017-2018 influenza season, only 37% of adults in the U.S. were vaccinated against the flu, a decrease of 6% from the previous season, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination as the best approach to avoiding infection. Influenza goes beyond aches and fever that can be treated with fluids and rest: Among the 49 million Americans who came down with the flu during the 2017-2018 season, as many as 959,000 required hospitalization and 79,400 died.

Read the original paper, published on Stat News