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Nearly 90% of American adults due for a routine vaccine in 2018 skipped at least one shot

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Nearly 90% of American adults due for a routine vaccine in 2018 skipped at least one shot and less than half got the flu shot, CDC study finds

  • Around 87% of American adults scheduled for a routine vaccine in 2018 skipped a shot, a new CDC finds
  • Less than half of adults, 46%, received their yearly flu shot, which is recommended for everyone 
  • The COVID-19 vaccine has better coverage than many others, with more than 76% of eligible Americans receiving at least one dose 
  • Health officials report that more than 10% of Americans are skipping the second shot of their vaccine, however










Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans were skipping out on important vaccines, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study finds.

The agency published data earlier this year finding that up to 87 percent of American adults who were due a routine vaccine in 2018 missed at least one shot.

Less than half of U.S. adults got the flu shot that year. 

While the study is from before the pandemic, it shows that the issue of Americans not getting their shots proceeds the Covid crisis.

It also reflects some of the issues health officials have had getting some people to get their second shot of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Up to 87% of Americans scheduled for a routine vaccine in 2018 skipped a shot, and less than half of Americans got their flu shot (file photo)

Up to 87% of Americans scheduled for a routine vaccine in 2018 skipped a shot, and less than half of Americans got their flu shot (file photo)

Despite low rates of vaccine coverage, researchers note that the amount of Americans getting their shots every year is actually gradually increasing

Despite low rates of vaccine coverage, researchers note that the amount of Americans getting their shots every year is actually gradually increasing

Researchers gathered data for a variety of vaccines, including flu shots, pneumococcal, herpes, hepatitis, HPV and tetanus shots.

Using medical records from a sample of over 20,000 people, they found how many Americans were due to receive each of the shots in 2018, and compared the figure to how many actually did get the vaccine they were scheduled for.

Every American adult is recommended to receive the flu shot every year, but only 46.1 percent received the jab during the late 2017 to early 2018 flu season. 

The pneumococcal vaccine is used to prevent pneumonia, meningitis and other condition in young babies and in people over the age of 65.

Researchers found that 69 percent of people over 65 who were scheduled for one of the vaccine’s four doses received it.

The vaccine is also available to younger people with conditions that leave them vulnerable to a pneumococcal disease, though only 20 percent of eligible young people received their scheduled shot.  

Data for the children was not included within the study.

The herpes zoster vaccine had 24 percent coverage among those 50 or older and a slightly better 34 percent coverage among those 60 or older scheduled to receive it.

Just under 63 percent of adults scheduled for the tetanus shot received it, 12 percent received a scheduled hepatitis A vaccine and just of half received their HPV shot.

Researchers found that, as a whole, up to 87.5 percent of Americans who were supposed to receive a shot in 2018 missed it.

While the numbers themselves seem relatively low, vaccine coverage in America has been gradually increasing in recent years, and these figures were small improvements from 2017 for the most part.

The COVID-19 vaccine, which became available around ten months ago, actually has better coverage than many of the other shots Americans are recommended to receive. 

Currently, health officials recommend all Americans aged 12 or older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to CDC data, 76.3 percent of eligible Americans have received at least one shot of the vaccine, and 56 percent are fully vaccinated.

Some people are skipping out on receiving both shots for one reason or another, though.

The CDC reported in June that around 11 percent of Americans never returned for their second dose of a two-shot vaccine – usually two to four weeks after receiving the first. 

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