Are you up to date on your vaccines?
What about everyone else?
What Percentage of Adults Are up to Date on Their Immunizations?
Can you guess why this question comes up so often?
It’s about herd immunity.
If most adults aren’t immune because they haven’t been vaccinated or don’t get boosters, then since we aren’t seeing that many outbreaks, herd immunity itself must be a myth.
The thing is though, adults were either born in the pre-vaccine era and likely earned their natural immunity or were born in the vaccine era and are vaccinated and immune.
It is also important to understand that herd immunity is disease specific, so when we talk about herd immunity for measles, it doesn’t matter if everyone has herd immunity levels of protection against hepatitis A or Hib.
And adults do get a few boosters and some vaccines that are only recommended for adults, including the shingles vaccine.
In addition, some vaccines, like Hib and Prevnar, have indirect effects, protecting adults even though they aren’t vaccinated, because vaccinated kids are less likely to become infectious.
But back to the original question, how many adults are up to date on their immunizations?
“While modest gains occurred in vaccination coverage for pneumococcal, Tdap, hepatitis A (persons with chronic liver conditions), herpes zoster, and HPV vaccination, coverage did not improve for other vaccinations and many adults remained unvaccinated with recommended vaccines. “Vaccination Coverage Among Adults in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 2016
While most adults are immune to what were once common childhood diseases, like measles and mumps, because they were either vaccinated or had the disease naturally, many could do better with newer vaccines that weren’t available when they were kids.
More on Adult Vaccination Statistics
- VAXOPEDIA – Who Needs an MMR Vaccine?
- VAXOPEDIA – How Often Should You Do Vaccine Titer Testing?
- VAXOPEDIA – What Shots Do You Need to Be Around a Newborn?
- VAXOPEDIA – Catch-Up Immunization Plans for Adults
- VAXOPEDIA – How Do You Get Caught up If You Have Never Been Vaccinated
- VAXOPEDIA – Did the FDA Approve a New HPV Vaccine for Adults?
- CDC – Vaccination Coverage Among Adults in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 2016
- CDC – AdultVaxView Publications and Resources
- Adult Vaccination
- Vaccinations for Adults You’re never too old to get vaccinated!
- CDC – Adult Immunization Schedule by Vaccine and Age Group
- Which adult immunizations do you need?
- Vaccines for Adults | History of Vaccines
- Adults | Vaccinate Your Family