Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination levels among persons aged > or = 65 years--United States, 1999.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 Jun 29; 50(25):532-7.MM
Annual influenza epidemics have resulted in an average of >18,000 deaths and 48,000 pneumonia and influenza hospitalizations among older persons in the United States (1). In 1998, an estimated 3400 older persons died from bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia, a common complication of influenza, or from other forms of invasive pneumococcal disease (2). A 2000 national health objective included increasing influenza and pneumococcal vaccination levels to > or = 60% among noninstitutionalized, high-risk persons, including those aged > or = 65 years (3). To assess progress toward this objective, data were analyzed from the 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for persons aged > or = 65 years. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that prevalence of influenza vaccination during the 1998-99 influenza season exceeded the objective nationally and in 48 of 52 reporting areas; however, influenza vaccination levels may have reached a plateau. Prevalence among older persons who had ever received pneumococcal vaccination exceeded the national objective in only eight states. To reach the 2010 national objective of > or = 90% influenza and pneumococcal vaccination among this population, new strategies and additional resources to implement adult vaccination activities may be needed.