Immunization in Adults

  • Richard B. Brown


Over the past several years renewed emphasis has been placed on the role of the prevention of infections. Reasons for this include the documentation of cost effectiveness and cost savings from this strategy1,2 and the fact that several important infections such as tetanus, rabies, polio, and hepatitis B remain preventable but not specifically treatable. Indeed, much of the illness historically associated with childhood diseases is now seen in adults. For instance, for the year 1985, 100% of all cases of diphtheria, 93% of cases of tetanus, and almost 60% of cases of rubella occurred in patients over the age of 20.3 Similarly, only 20% of persons considered at high risk for complications of viral influenza and 10% of those at risk for pneumococcal infection have been vaccinated.3 Surveys demonstrate that at least 50% of persons over 60 years of age lack protective antibody to tetanus, and at least 40% lack antibody to diphtheria.3 It has been suggested that up to seven million adults are suceptible to measles, and as many as 11 million women of childbearing age are not immune to rubella.3


Typhoid Fever Yellow Fever Immune Globulin Pneumococcal Vaccine Primary Immunization 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

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  • Richard B. Brown

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