Updated
July 18th, 2017

College Degree Women Know Vaccines Best

People are most aware of influenza, pneumonia, herpes zoster, hepatitis B, pertussis and tetanus

Most adults know which vaccinations they need, but do not get them as suggested. But, why?

In a study for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers found a wide range of responses regarding the awareness of vaccine-preventable diseases.

This study participant’s awareness of their vaccination options ranged from 63.4% to 94%.

Moreover, females and college graduates were identified as the most knowledgeable about vaccines, and the diseases vaccines prevent.

Additionally, vaccine awareness was reported above average among those with high-risk conditions, with higher household incomes, and those with private health insurance.

While cost and access were believed to be barriers to adult vaccine compliance, this study suggests that improving adult vaccination rates can be as simple as a nudge from a healthcare provider, such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

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According to this report, people were most aware of influenza, pneumonia, herpes zoster, hepatitis B, pertussis and tetanus.

This survey found people were least aware of HPV and the available vaccines.

Peng-Jun Lu, MD, PhD, of the CDC led the study, and said “Whether or not they stock vaccines, all healthcare professionals should routinely assess patient vaccine needs and recommend the appropriate vaccines to ensure their patients are protected against serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.”

These researchers suggest the best method to improve adult vaccinations is to combine patient communications such as reminder systems, healthcare system-based interventions, and ensuring patients' vaccination needs are assessed by a healthcare provider.

These researchers did not report any conflicts of interest: Lu PJ, O'Halloran A, Kennedy ED, Williams WW, Kim D, Fiebelkorn AP, Donahue S, Bridges CB.