Who gets the pneumococcal vaccine?

An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.

Quick View. Posted April 14, 2008

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Members of minority populations are less likely than are whites ever to have received such a shot.

Pneumococcal disease kills more than 40,000 people in the U.S. annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This tally exceeds that of all other vaccine-preventable diseases combined.

The CDC recommends that everyone 65 and older receive the vaccine as well as anyone who has a chronic condition such as heart disease, sickle cell disease, alcoholism, diabetes or liver cirrhosis. It is also recommended for Alaska Natives and some American Indian populations. Based on 2004 data, 57% of adults older than 65 have had this vaccine.

Note: Estimates are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.

Source: "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Health Care: A Chartbook," The Commonwealth Fund

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