As a mother, I’m certainly thinking about all the things I can do to keep my family safe and healthy for the upcoming school year. As a pediatrician, I also know that this is the perfect time of year to remind parents that on-time vaccination is the best way to protect infants, young children, and teens against 16 serious and potentially deadly diseases.
Parents agree that car seats, handwashing, and bike helmets are important to help keep their children healthy. The same goes for immunizations.
As parents, we all know the typical safety questions you ask when your kids go on play dates, such as “Do you have a dog?,” ”Do you keep guns in the house?,” or “Do you smoke?” But, with the increasing number of parents choosing to forego or delay vaccinating their children and the resulting resurgence of deadly childhood diseases, there is a safety risk when children play with other kids whose vaccination status is unknown.
The US ranks just 12th in measles immunization coverage, with a 91% coverage rate. Countries like Singapore, Mongolia, Russia, and China – all of which spend significantly less than the US on healthcare per capita– are among those that boast higher coverage rates.
Vaccines are among the most cost-effective clinical preventive services yet adult vaccination rates remain well below public health goals, despite the impact of vaccine-preventable diseases in the US. The recently released National Adult Immunization Plan (NAIP) provides an overview of recommended actions to be undertaken by federal and non-federal partners to protect public health and achieve optimal prevention of infectious diseases through vaccination, specifically vaccination of adults.
Antimicrobial resistance is a serious health threat that affects the clinical outcome of patients and also results in higher rates of adverse events and healthcare costs. The discovery of potent antimicrobial agents was one of the greatest contributions to medicine in the 20th century. Unfortunately, the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens now threatens these advances. Antimicrobial resistance affects everybody and knows no geographic boundaries—a resistant deadly pathogen may be just a plane ride away.
Standing Orders Programs provide a proven solution to improve low adult immunization rates, improve clinic efficiency, and reduce barriers to providing adult vaccines. Successful implementation will improve the quality of patient care while concurrently reducing the logistical burdens of providing adult vaccines.
No two parents are the same. When it comes to vaccines for their children, parents can range from being pro-vaccine to anti-vaccine, to somewhere in the middle, simply looking for reliable and accurate information about vaccines.
Vaccines are one of the greatest public health success stories, and while US immunization rates for children and adolescents are high, adult immunization rates remain notably low. As a result, each year more than 50,000 US adults die due to vaccine‐preventable diseases and related complications.
Every August, National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of vaccines across the lifespan. Get involved with NIAM and help spread the word to encourage healthy behaviors. Vaccines are among the safest and most effective ways to protect yourself and those you love from infectious diseases.
Viral hepatitis is caused by five distinct hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, and E. Infection from these viruses causes acute and chronic liver disease and results in nearly 1.5 million deaths each year, mostly from hepatitis B and C.
Special thanks to Christian John Lillis, Executive Director of the Peggy Lillis Foundation, for this guest blog post featuring perspectives from individuals who suffer from Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).