Raising Adult Vaccination Rates

January 15, 2016  Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Physicians

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), today’s adult vaccination rate is extremely low. Yet, research shows that adults believe immunizations are important and are willing to receive them. So why is there such a low rate of vaccinated adults if the general population is willing to receive immunizations? The answer lies in the lack of patient awareness.

In 2013, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC), revised the Standards for Adult Immunization Practice. The new Standards hold that all healthcare providers should ensure that their adult patients are fully immunized. Healthcare providers and practice staff should routinely assess patient immunization status and strongly recommend the vaccines that patients need.

According to the American College of Physicians (ACP), the key factor in promoting adult vaccination is advocacy from the patients’ healthcare provider. Patients need to clearly hear the recommendation of the vaccine and its importance to the patient’s overall health. Read the full article from the ACP here >.

Tips from the CDC for advocating immunizations to adult patients:

  • Recommend the right vaccine for the patient’s needs
  • Share custom reasoning as to why the specific vaccine is right for the patient
  • Highlight positive outcomes of vaccination and warn against the potential costs of becoming sick such as hospitalization and loss wages from missing work
  • Address any of the patient’s hesitations and questions about the vaccine

View the full list here >.

While recommending immunizations for adults is the key to increasing the adult vaccination rate, your practice should also be prepared to deliver. Be certain that the suggested vaccine is available at the time of the patient’s appointment in order to deliver proper care. For more information, reference our blog,  Placing the Right Vaccine Order, to learn tips for determining costs and potential revenue of providing immunizations, as well as purchasing the right vaccines in the right quantity.