Facts About Adult Vaccination

FACT:  Between 3,000 and over 49,000 people die from influenza in the United States each year.

FACT:  Although the severity of flu seasons can vary widely, from about 5 to 20 percent of the population can be infected with influenza in any year. 

FACT: Influenza vaccination can reduce physician visits and lost work days, and reduce antibiotic use.

FACT:  Individuals covered by Medicare Part B can get influenza, pneumococcal, and hepatitis B vaccines (if they are at risk of hepatitis B disease) at no cost.

FACT: Each year in the US, pneumococcal disease causes more than one million cases of pneumonia and thousands of cases of sepsis (bloodstream infection) and meningitis (inflammation of the tissues and fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord). 

FACT: Pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for all adults age 65 years and older and adults age 19 through 64 years who have asthma, diabetes, or certain other chronic conditions, or who smoke.

FACT: There are two types of pneumococcal vaccine available for adults. Adults age 65 years and older and younger adults with immunocompromising conditions; a damaged or missing spleen; cochlear implants; or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks need to receive both vaccines.

FACT: In the US, an estimated 2.2 million people are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus and can infect household members and sexual partners. 

FACT: Hepatitis B virus is found in blood and other body fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions of infected persons. 

FACT: Hepatitis B virus is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. 

FACT: The hepatitis B vaccine prevents cancer, specifically primary liver cancer caused by chronic hepatitis B infection.

FACT:  Adults age 19 through 59 with diabetes are more than twice as likely as those without diabetes to develop an acute hepatitis B infection.

FACT: More than 50 percent of new hepatitis B cases could be prevented if hepatitis B vaccination were offered routinely to all persons attending sexually transmitted disease clinics and to all correctional facility inmates. 

FACT: By age 50 years, 80 percent of women will be infected with human papillomavirus. While most women will clear the virus, some will not. HPV causes virtually all cervical cancers, with about 70 percent caused by the HPV types 16 and 18, which are preventable with vaccination.

FACT: Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes approximately 91 percent of anal cancers, 75 percent of vaginal cancers, 69 percent of vulvar cancers, and 63 percent of penile cancers. The majority of these are caused by HPV type 16, which is preventable with vaccination.

FACT:  Shingles causes a painful, blistering rash that usually appears on just one side of the body, most often on the torso or face.

FACT: There are about one million cases of shingles in the US every year.

FACT:  Before hepatitis A vaccine became available in the US, more than 250,000 individuals were infected with hepatitis A virus each year. 

FACT: An estimated 100 deaths from hepatitis A occur in the US each year.

FACT: Hepatitis A is one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases acquired during travel outside the US. 

FACT: Due to high immunization rates, 50 or fewer cases of tetanus occur each year in the US.

FACT:  Tetanus is fatal in about 10 percent of cases in the US with most deaths occurring in those age 60 years and older and people with diabetes. 

FACT: Almost all reported cases of tetanus occur in persons who either never completed the primary vaccination series or who have not had a booster vaccination in the past 10 years.

FACT: Whooping cough in adults may range from mild to classic whooping cough, causing long coughing spasms and even things like cracked ribs. 

FACT:  Infants are at highest risk of death from whooping cough and most often contract it from their own parents or other adults around them who have not been immunized.

FACT: Complications from measles are more common among adults and young children.

FACT:  If rubella (German measles) occurs during pregnancy, it can result in severe birth defects, miscarriages, and stillbirths. 

FACT: There have been many mumps outbreaks in the US in the last several years, including four college campus outbreaks in 2014. 

FACT: Serious complications of mumps are more common among adults than children. 

FACT:  Adolescents and adults are more likely than children to develop severe complications when infected with the chickenpox virus. 

FACT: Adults are much more likely than children to die from chickenpox if they get it. 

For more information, speak with your healthcare professional

July 2015 

©National Foundation for Infectious Diseases