Vaccination prevents the spread of infectious diseases. Vaccination for influenza is recommended for young children, pregnant women, persons with certain chronic medical conditions, and adults aged 50 years or older.1 In 2006, nearly 40 percent of women aged 55–64 years and 64.6 percent of women aged 65 years and older reported receiving a flu vaccine in the past year; this varied, however, by race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic White women were more likely than women of other races and ethnicities to have received the flu vaccine; 41.6 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds and 67.3 percent of those aged 65 years and older did so. Fewer than 48 percent of non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women aged 65 years and older received the flu vaccine.
Pneumonia vaccine is recommended for adults aged 65 years and older and for people with certain health conditions. In 2006, 60.0 percent of women aged 65 and older reported ever receiving the vaccine. In this age group, Non-Hispanic White women were most likely to have ever received the pneumonia vaccine (64.0 percent), compared to 34.4 percent of Hispanic women and 42.2 percent of non-Hispanic Black women.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended to reduce the spread of hepatitis B, which may result in cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and even death.2 Hepatitis B vaccination also varied by race/ethnicity and age. Younger women were most likely to have received at least one of the three recommended doses, and non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black women in every age group were more likely than Hispanic women to have received the vaccine.
Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer and other diseases in women. In 2006, the HPV vaccine was recommended for adolescent females and young women aged 9–26 years;3 since 2006, 10 percent of women aged 18–26 years have been vaccinated for HPV (data not shown).4
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention and Control of Influenza: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR, July 28, 2006: 55(RR10); 1-42. http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/, accessed 01/16/08.↑
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Comprehensive Immunization Strategy to Eliminate Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States. MMWR, Dec 8, 2006: 55(RR16); 1-25. http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/, accessed 01/16/08.↑
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: HPV and HPV Vaccine – Information for Healthcare Providers. Aug 2006. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/default.htm, accessed 01/16/08.↑
4 Fox, Maggie. “Too few US adults get their shots, survey shows.” Reuters. January 23, 2008 [online] http://www.reuters.com/ article/idUSN23640678, accessed 01/24/08.↑