Ensuring the willingness to vaccinate and be vaccinated

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2010 Mar;9(3 Suppl):11-4. doi: 10.1586/erv.10.28.


Vaccination is one of the success stories in modern day medicine and has contributed to a reduced burden of childhood diseases and increased longevity. However, adult vaccination has not achieved the same level of success and it is now thought that more adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases each year than children. Many of the reasons given by adults for not getting vaccinated are based upon ignorance of the true facts, lack of support/notification from the healthcare system or unfounded fears. The key to addressing these issues is improving communication and this needs to involve healthcare professionals and public health/social workers. To effect change we must provide motivating educational material, which ensures that the benefits of vaccination are clearly emphasized and that issues related to inconvenience and adverse events are discussed and put into perspective. Transparency is important and so the information must be complete and accurate. In addition, we need to make the immunization process easy and convenient for the patient (particularly for house-bound individuals and those who live some distance from a general practitioner) and it needs to be proactive (e-mails, reminders and recalls). Only through a massive commitment to making it work, with the lead taken by key healthcare managers/personnel, will we improve vaccine coverage and integrate vaccination of older adults into a life-long healthy aging strategy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Communicable Diseases / mortality
  • Education
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vaccination / trends*