Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination levels among persons aged > or = 65 years--United States, 2001

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2002 Nov 15;51(45):1019-24.


Two vaccine-preventable diseases, influenza and pneumococcal disease, contribute to the mortality of older persons in the United States. Influenza caused an average of 20,000 deaths per year during influenza epidemics in the United States from 1969 to 1996; persons aged > or = 65 years accounted for approximately 90% of these deaths. Pneumococcal disease caused approximately 3,400 deaths among persons aged > or = 65 years in the United States in 1998. National health objectives for 2010 include increasing influenza and pneumococcal vaccination levels to > or = 90% among persons aged > or = 65 years (objective nos. 14.29a and 14.29b, respectively). To assess progress toward achieving these objectives, CDC analyzed data from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This report summarizes the results, which indicate that the estimated point prevalences of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination were <80% among persons aged > or = 65 years in all reporting areas. Influenza vaccination levels during 2000-2001 decreased from 1998-1999 levels in 27 of 52 reporting areas; pneumococcal vaccination prevalence increased a median of 7 percentage points from 1999 to 2001. Continued efforts are needed to increase the proportion of older adults who receive influenza and pneumococcal vaccines; health-care providers should offer pneumococcal vaccine all year and should continue to offer influenza vaccine during December and throughout the influenza season, even after influenza activity has been documented in the community.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Male
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines