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Vaccination

Narrative

Vaccination is one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, resulting in dramatic declines in mortality and morbidity for many infectious diseases.1 An annual influenza (flu) vaccination is now recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older; however, it is especially important for certain groups, including pregnant women and older adults, who are at higher risk for flu complications.2 In November of 2011, only 43.2 percent of pregnant women reported receiving flu vaccine for the 2011–2012 season. Those with household incomes less than 100 percent of poverty were less likely to have received vaccination than those living at or above poverty (38.8 versus 45.2 percent, respectively). To prevent potentially fatal infection in the newborn, a tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine (Tdap) is also recommended for pregnant women (>20 weeks' gestation) if they have not received Tdap vaccination in the last 10 years.3 In 2011, only 24.2 percent of pregnant women reported having received a current Tdap vaccination. Tdap vaccination was lower among pregnant women with household incomes below poverty compared to those with higher incomes (20.5 versus 25.3 percent, respectively).

Pneumococcal vaccination protects against a bacterial infection that may cause pneumonia or other illnesses that can lead to severe complications including death. Pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for young children, adults aged 65 years and older, those with certain health conditions including asthma, and for adults who smoke cigarettes.2 In 2010, 61.3 percent of women aged 65 and older reported ever receiving a pneumococcal vaccination. Pneumococcal vaccination was lower among women with household incomes of less than 100 percent of poverty, compared to those with higher incomes (42.2 versus 64.1 percent, respectively).

Shingles vaccination, first recommended in 2006, protects against herpes zoster—a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox, which is called shingles. Shingles occurs mostly in older adults and produces a skin rash that can create debilitating pain lasting months or even years. The shingles vaccine is recommended for all persons aged 60 years and older, except for those with conditions that severely weaken the immune system. 2 In 2010, only 16.0 percent of women aged 60 and older reported receiving the shingles vaccination. Shingles vaccination was lower among women with household incomes below 100 percent of poverty than those with higher incomes (9.1 versus 17.4 percent, respectively).

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Achievements in public health, 1900–1999: Control of infectious diseases. MMWR. 1999 Jul 30;48(29):621-9.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines and Preventable Diseases. Accessed 07/05/12.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Updated recommendations for use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) in pregnant women and persons who have or anticipate having close contact with an infant aged <12 months — Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2011. MMWR. 2011 Oct 21;60(41):1424-6.

Graphs

Data

Receipt of Selected Vaccinations* Among Pregnant Women, by Poverty Status,** 2011
Selected Vaccinations Percent of Women
Total Less than 100% of Poverty 100% or More of Poverty
*Having received the influenza vaccination since August 1, 2011; having received the tetanus shot including acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine since 2005, when Tdap first became licensed and recommended.
**Poverty level, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, was $22,811 for a family of four in 2011. †Women pregnant at anytime from August to November were surveyed in November, 2011. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Internet Panel Survey, 2010. Analysis conducted by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease. Accessed on 07/05/12.
Influenza 43.2 38.8 45.2
Tdap 24.2 20.5 25.3
Receipt of Selected Vaccinations* Among Women, by Recommended Age Group and Poverty Status,** 2010
Age Group/Vaccinations Percent of Women
Total Less than 100% of Poverty 100% or More of Poverty
*Having ever received the pneumonia shot; zoster or Shingles vaccine.
**Poverty level, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, was $22,113 for a family of four in 2010. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2010. Analysis conducted by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease.
65 Years and Over, Pneumococcal Disease 61.3 42.2 64.1
60 Years and Over, Shingles 16.0 9.1 17.4