A systematic approach to vaccination is necessary to ensure that every adult is appropriately protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Every visit by an adult to a health care provider should be an opportunity to review and update immunization status. Health care providers and individuals should maintain detailed records about each person's vaccination history.
Pneumonia and influenza are the fifth leading cause of death in older adults in the U.S. While vaccines are available to prevent and reduce complications from these diseases, their use is suboptimal. African Americans and Hispanics have significantly lower influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates compared to the rest of the population. While influenza vaccination coverage rates for whites age 65 and older is 68%, it is only 48% for African Americans, and 54% for Hispanics. The gap for pneumococcal vaccination coverage is even wider, with 60% of whites reporting they have ever received this vaccine, compared with 38% for African Americans, and 36% for Hispanics. (Source: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1999 and 2001).
This page provides information, resources, and tools to help support clinicians, including community vaccinators, in administering vaccines for influenza, pneumococcal, and hepatitis B vaccinations.