Influenza, pneumococcal, and tetanus toxioid vaccination of adults--United States, 1993-7

MMWR CDC Surveill Summ. 2000 Sep 22;49(9):39-62.


Problem/condition: An increasing proportion of adults have received recommended vaccinations against influenza, pneumococcal infection, and tetanus. However, in 1995, fewer than 60% of adults were vaccinated as recommended.

Reporting period covered: 1993-1997.

Description of system: Data were obtained from the state-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 1993, 1995, and 1997 and from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for 1995 to describe national, regional, and state-specific patterns of use of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines and tetanus toxoid among noninstitutionalized adults aged > or = 18 years.

Results: Among adults aged > or = 65 years in 1995, 58% reported receiving an influenza vaccination during the previous 12 months, and 34% reported ever receiving a pneumococcal vaccination. In this age group, non-Hispanic whites were more likely to report receipt of influenza (61%) and pneumococcal vaccines (36%) than non-Hispanic blacks (40% and 22%, respectively) and Hispanics (50% and 23%, respectively). Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the median vaccination level among older adults (i.e., persons aged > or = 65 years) increased from 51% in 1993 to 66% in 1997 for influenza vaccine, and from 28% in 1993 to 46% in 1997 for pneumococcal vaccine. Adults with chronic medical conditions had low vaccination levels. Those aged 50-64 years were more likely than those aged 18-49 years to report influenza (38% versus 20%) and pneumococcal vaccination (20% versus 12%). In 1995, the proportion of adults who reported receiving a tetanus vaccination during the previous 10 years decreased with age, from 65% among those aged 18-49 years to 54% among those aged 50-64 years and to 40% among those aged > or = 65 years. In each age group, women were less likely than men to report receiving tetanus toxoid; and among adults aged > or = 65 years, Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders were least likely among all racial/ethnic groups to report receiving tetanus toxoid.

Interpretation: By 1995, the Healthy People 2000 objective to increase to at least 60% the proportion of persons aged > or = 65 years who had received annual influenza vaccination had been achieved among non-Hispanic whites (objective 20.11). However, substantial improvement is needed among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and adults aged < 65 years with high-risk medical conditions.

Public health actions: Continued surveillance of vaccine coverage among adults will direct attention to undervaccinated populations that may be disproportionately affected by vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination coverage data can be used to guide efforts to increase awareness among health-care providers and the public about the benefits of vaccination, establish systems to ensure that every contact with the health-care system is used to update vaccinations, and further support financial mechanisms to increase vaccine delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacterial Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology
  • Tetanus Toxoid / administration & dosage
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Tetanus Toxoid