Original Article

International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 865-874

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

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

  • Lauren A. WuAffiliated withNational Vaccine Program Office, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Email author 
  • , Elisabeth KanitzAffiliated withReparto Malattie Infettive, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Centro Nazionale di Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e Promozione della Salute
  • , Julie CrumlyAffiliated withHealth Communication and Marketing Group, Health Communication and Technical Training Program, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
  • , Fortunato D’AnconaAffiliated withReparto Malattie Infettive, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Centro Nazionale di Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e Promozione della Salute
  • , Raymond A. StrikasAffiliated withImmunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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.

Keywords

Adult immunization Vaccination policy Vaccination coverage Vaccine financing Developed country Advanced economy