Eyes on Adult Immunizations

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"Vaccines for Adults Are Underused" [usnews.com] is a great reminder of the need for national efforts to get more patients vaccinated.

Every year thousands of American adults die from diseases that vaccines can prevent, representing a significant human toll and placing an economic burden on America's health care system. Immunization is one of the most effective preventive measures patients can take to preserve their health, yet the CDC reports adult immunizations remain low. The American Medical Association encourages physicians to remind their patients about the important health benefits of the CDC-recommended vaccines that can protect against 15 diseases, and offer these vaccines in their practices. Most patients look to their doctors for immunization advice: the CDC reports that 87 percent of patients said they are more likely to get a vaccine if it's recommended by their physician. Vaccines are one of the most successful public health interventions and have acted to prevent and even eradicate diseases.

Ronald M. Davis, M.D.

American Medical Association