Improving immunization rates through improved tracking, documentation and reporting with a special focus on reducing immunization health care disparities

A report from the National Center for Health Statistics listed vaccine-preventable diseases—influenza and pneumonia—as the eighth-leading cause of death in the United States. Pneumonia is estimated to kill 53,282 people each year, while adults ages 65 and older make up 90 percent of influenza-related deaths.

Another vaccine-preventable disease is herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles. An estimated 1 million cases of this painful inflammatory disease are reported each year. Even though the herpes zoster vaccine is almost 100 percent effective at preventing severe cases of shingles, only 20 percent of people ages 60 and older are vaccinated.

Despite the risks of these deadly diseases and the availability of effective vaccines, immunization rates for adults remains significantly low, falling well below Healthy People 2020 targets.

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