Disease- & Population-Specific Immunizations

Immunization is essential to preventing the spread of contagious – and sometimes deadly – diseases, particularly among at-risk populations such as young children and older adults. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) provides a wealth of resources to help family physicians educate parents and patients about the importance of immunization.

Here you’ll find information about immunizations for specific diseases and populations, as well as policies and recommendations from the AAFP, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

    Despite the overwhelming evidence of the safety and effectiveness of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, vaccination rates remain low. The AAFP is urging family physicians to strongly recommend that patients get vaccinated against HPV.

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  reported 644 confirmed cases of measles — the greatest number of reported cases since 2000, when measles elimination was documented in the United States. Between January 1 and January 28, 2015, 84 cases of measles were reported. The AAFP offers several resources to help family physicians encourage patients to follow the recommended immunization schedules, which are based on the best available data and are designed to maximize benefit and minimize risk.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) carries the risk of severe, potentially life-threatening complications.The incidence rate of pertussis among infants is higher than the rate in any other age group, and the majority of pertussis-related deaths occur in infants younger than 3 months of age. The AAFP recommends that pregnant women receive Tdap vaccines to protect infants against pertussis until they can start getting the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine at 2 months of age.

Pneumococcus remains a leading infectious cause of serious illness among older adults in the United States; it can cause severe infections of the lungs, bloodstream, and lining of the brain and spinal cord. Vaccinations are the best way to prevent pneumococcal disease, and the AAFP recommends pneumococcal vaccines in all adults 65 and older.