Survey reveals only 16% of those above 50 took any adult vaccines
A recent survey in 16 cities found that while childhood immunization is generally widely accepted in the community due to the implementation of appropriate protocols for the administration of primary and booster doses for children, the same degree of acceptance is critically lacking in the field of adult vaccination.
Who conducted the survey and what was the purpose of the survey for?
- The Association of Physicians of India (API) and Ipsos were the two companies that carried out the poll.
- The survey’s objective was to determine the level of knowledge, acceptance, and resistance to adult vaccination among adults in 16 Indian cities who are 50 years of age and above. The poll also sought to determine how well patients over the age of 50 were aware of shingles (Herpes Zoster) and its effects.
- To gain insight into the current situation of adult immunization in India, including the causes of low immunization rates and prospective areas for improvement, the survey gathered information from individuals, carers, and physicians.
What is Herpes Zoster?
- The skin can develop painful blisters or a rash from the viral infection known as shingles. The varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which also causes chickenpox, is responsible for its development. The chickenpox virus does not go away once a person is well. Years later, this virus may reactivate and cause shingles.
- On your body, shingles can appear everywhere. Usually, it appears as a single blistery stripe.
What are the symptoms of Herpes Zoster?
- Fluid-filled blisters
- Burning, shooting pain
- Tingling, itching, or numbness of the skin
- Chills, fever, headache, or upset stomach
- Other symptoms include:
- A feeling of being generally unwell
- A high temperature (fever)
What is the information gathered from the survey?
- The report reveals a sizable gap between knowledge of adult immunization and actual uptake. Only 16% of adults 50 and older had received adult vaccinations, even though 71% of adults in this age group were aware of them. This suggests that obstacles or a lack of motivation are keeping adults from receiving vaccinations.
Why is there a decline in the number of adult vaccinations?
- Lack of written Guidelines: Medical professionals blame a lack of written guidelines for the poor immunization rates among adults. Having precise recommendations for adult vaccination could motivate both medical professionals and patients to prioritize shots.
- Doctor-Patient Communication: Many adults may not consistently hear from their doctors that they should get immunized regularly. The lack of communication may be a factor in the low immunization rates. Since patients frequently follow their doctors’ advice, more proactive advice from medical staff members is crucial.
- Misconceptions: The population examined has several false beliefs concerning adult vaccinations. For instance, some people think getting many vaccinations can make them dependent on them, while others believe there are more effective ways to ward off disease. It is essential to address these myths through education and awareness initiatives.
- Affordability: For many people, the price of vaccines, such as the shingles vaccine, might be a deterrent. According to the poll, the cost of the shingles vaccination prevents a sizeable section of the population from receiving it. Access to vaccines might be increased by lowering the price or offering incentives.
- Urban-Rural Disparities: According to the poll, urban regions have higher levels of adult vaccination acceptance and awareness than rural ones do. This emphasizes the demand for focused initiatives to raise vaccination rates in rural areas.
What is the importance of the vaccination?
- Disease Prevention: One of the best ways to stop the spread of infectious diseases is through vaccinations. They lower the risk of infection by causing the immune system to create antibodies that defend against particular pathogens (bacteria or viruses).
- Public health: The prevalence of numerous dangerous illnesses, including polio, measles, and smallpox, has significantly decreased as a result of widespread immunization campaigns. In addition to saving lives, this lessens the strain on healthcare systems.
- Herd Immunity: Herd immunity is produced when a sizable proportion of a community receives a vaccination against a disease. Halting the spread of the disease in the neighbourhood, safeguards people who cannot receive vaccinations, such as those with specific medical conditions or compromised immune systems.
- Preventing Outbreaks: Vaccination works to stop the spread of diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. Diseases that were formerly under control can suddenly return without immunization, resulting in epidemics or pandemics.
- Reducing Complications: Vaccination not only protects against sickness but also lessens the severity of illnesses in individuals who contract them. Complications, hospital stays, and long-term health issues may be avoided in this way.
What is the way forward from this situation?
- provide Comprehensive Guidelines: To provide clear and detailed guidelines for adult vaccination, healthcare authorities and professional groups should collaborate. These recommendations should include immunizations for various age groups and risk factors, making it simpler for healthcare professionals to advise and educate their patients.
- Improve Doctor-Patient Communication: Medical providers should be more proactive in recommending and talking to their patients about adult immunizations. Concerns and misunderstandings among patients can be reduced by frank and sympathetic communication regarding the significance of vaccines, their safety, and their advantages.
- Public Education and Knowledge: It is important to start public health initiatives to raise knowledge of the value of adult immunization. These ads ought to dispel widespread myths, stress the importance of vaccines in preventing serious illnesses, and offer details on where and how to get immunized.
- Accessibility and affordability: Efforts should be made to increase the availability and cost-effectiveness of vaccinations for adults. This could entail expanding immunization clinics to neglected areas and reducing the cost of vaccines for older persons, especially for those with little financial resources.