The following are some key points from the CDC’s “ADULT IMMUNIZATION: Are YOU Meeting the Standards for Patient Care?”
- Vaccination is a critical preventive health measure. Making sure your patients are up-to-date on vaccines recommended by the CDC gives them the best protection available from several serious diseases.
- The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) recently revised and updated the Standards for Adult Immunization Practice to reflect the important role that ALL health care professionals play in ensuring that adults are getting the vaccines they need.
- These new standards were drafted by the National Adult Immunization and Influenza Summit (NAIIS) of over 200 partners, including federal and state agencies, medical associations, and other stakeholders. Adult vaccination rates are very low (National Health Interview Survey, 2012). For example, rates for Tdap and zoster vaccination are 20 percent or less for adults who are recommended to get them. Only 20 percent of adults younger than 65-years-old who are high risk for complications from pneumococcal disease are vaccinated.
- Each year, tens of thousands of adults needlessly suffer, are hospitalized and even die as a result of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. However, a recent national survey showed that most US adults are not even aware that they need vaccines throughout their lives to protect against diseases like shingles, pertussis and hepatitis.
- Adults trust their health care professionals to advise them about important preventive measures.
- The CDC is calling on ALL health care professionals to make adult immunization a standard of patient care in their practice by integrating four key steps:
- ASSESS immunization status of all your patients in every clinical encounter.
- SHARE a strong recommendation with your patients for vaccines that they need.
- ADMINISTER needed vaccines or REFER your patients to a provider who can immunize them.
- DOCUMENT vaccines received by your patients.
Thank you for all you are doing to help keep all Carolinians and their families healthy – especially when it comes to adult immunizations.