, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 865-874,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 25 Jan 2013

Adult immunization policies in advanced economies: vaccination recommendations, financing, and vaccination coverage

Abstract

Objectives

While many countries have robust child immunization programs and high child vaccination coverage, vaccination of adults has received less attention. The objective of this study was to describe the adult vaccination policies in developed countries.

Methods

From 2010 to 2011, we conducted a survey of 33 advanced economies as defined by the International Monetary Fund. The survey asked about national recommendations for adults for 16 vaccines or vaccine components, funding mechanisms for recommended adult vaccines, and the availability of adult vaccination coverage estimates.

Results

Thirty-one of 33 (93.9 %) advanced economies responded to the survey. Twelve of 31 (38.7 %) reported having a comprehensive adult immunization schedule. The total number of vaccines or vaccine components recommended for adults ranged from one to 15 with a median of 10. Seasonal influenza (n = 30), tetanus (n = 28), pneumococcal polysaccharide (n = 27), and hepatitis B (n = 27) were the most frequently recommended vaccines or components.

Conclusions

Approximately two-thirds of survey respondents do not have a comprehensive adult vaccine schedule, and most do not measure vaccination coverage. We found that a funding mechanism is available for most recommended adult vaccines.