Statnews.com is aimed at medical personnel.
Vaccines are among the simplest, most effective, and least expensive ways to prevent serious, and often deadly, diseases. Yet vaccination seems to be an afterthought for many adults.
It’s time to shift that thinking and elevate vaccines to the scientific and technological zenith they deserve as one of the greatest advances of the 20th century, one that now has the potential to prevent some types of cancer. Such a shift would align scientific fact and medical expertise with public health policies and practices.
For many adults — especially those who are older, those with other significant medical conditions, or those who are pregnant — vaccination should be a cornerstone of preventive health care. Yet adult immunization rates in the U.S. are low: Under half of adults receive most vaccines recommended for them, and rates have been relatively steady since 2010.
There are several reasons for this. Many adults aren’t aware they need vaccines. Health care providers often don’t routinely assess their patients’ vaccination status or clearly communicate national recommendations for vaccination. Common adult vaccines often aren’t stocked in clinical offices. And as is true with so many other facets of health care in the United States, non-Hispanic black, Asian, and Hispanic adults have lower immunization rates than whites.
When it comes to adult immunizations, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) or from the myriad of respected professional medical societies, including the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, are not sufficient to improve adult vaccination rates. We need to see a broad shift in culture and policy at local, state, and federal levels.
This shift must start with policies around childhood vaccines, because these lay the groundwork for adult vaccinations. We have seen gains in this area with the establishment of the CDC’s Vaccines for Children program to address socioeconomic barriers to vaccination for those under 18 years of age. Vaccine proponents have advocated for commonsense legislation around school-based requirements for vaccines that include tightening vaccine exemption rules in many states. In addition, some states permit adolescent minors to make independent decisions to consent to vaccination.
Similar advances are needed for adult immunizations. For example, catch-up vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and throat, could be included in the federally funded National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program, developed in the 1990s to reduce deaths from breast and cervical cancer, has provided access to cervical cancer screening for thousands of women since its inception. It is remiss for it not to incorporate HPV immunization….
The business model of the vaccine racket is simple: induce chronic illness in order to profit from life-long treatments. Why not? Everyone involved has legal and financial immunity (the real meaning of vaccine immunity) and everyone benefits except the patient.