December 04, 2014
1 min read

Most US adult women not current with vaccines

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A recent survey shows that most adult women in the United States may have been vaccinated at least once in the past 5 years, but they were not current with a range of common vaccines.

The survey, sponsored by Rite Aid and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, was conducted via telephone and included 1,000 randomly selected women aged 26 to 74 years.

Results indicated that 70% of adult women said they received some form of vaccination in the past 5 years, and that tetanus (65%) and influenza (60%) vaccinations were the most likely to be up to date.

Almost 80% of women indicated they would find an immunization evaluation from a pharmacist to be helpful, which may provide an opening for pharmacists to increase vaccine uptake. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they already consult with their pharmacists about infectious diseases, vaccines or immunizations. More than 25% of women who reported receiving the influenza vaccine did so at a drugstore.

“Education and prevention are central to the NFID mission,” Marla Dalton, executive director of the NFID, said in a press release. “According to the CDC, up to 50,000 adults die from vaccine-preventable disease in the US every year. It is important for adults to understand which vaccines are recommended for them and when. Any tool that helps consumers in this process is a valuable asset to public health.”

Rite Aid has launched a website called “Vaccine Central,” where visitors track their immunizations, complete an immunization evaluation and find educational resources on vaccination.

The survey also showed that 60% of women intend to get vaccinated in the next 5 years.

The most common reason (28%) for not getting vaccinated against influenza was the misconception that the vaccine will cause illness. Up to 44% of women said influenza would be a serious threat to their health in the next 5 years, but 49% do not intend to get vaccinated against the disease in the same time period.

“At a time when vaccine-preventable diseases like flu, shingles, whooping cough, and measles are highly visible in the media around the country, this survey supports what we as community pharmacists already knew — that there is clearly a need to educate consumers and raise awareness about the importance of vaccinations,” Robert Thompson, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy, said in the release.

Disclosure: The survey was sponsored in part by Rite Aid.