Immunizations can prevent the spread of contagious and sometimes deadly diseases, particularly among at-risk populations such as young children and older adults. Use AAFP resources to educate your parents and patients about the importance of getting immunizations.
You’ll find information for specific diseases and target populations, as well as policies and recommendations from the AAFP, American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the safety and effectiveness of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, vaccination rates remain low. The AAFP urges you to strongly recommend that patients get vaccinated against HPV.
From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019, the CDC reported 1,282 confirmed cases of measles in 31 states, which marked the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since 1992. The majority of these case were among people who weren't vaccinated against measles. That's why your recommendation to get the measles vaccine is so critical to our population health.
The Neisseria meningitides bacteria cause invasive diseases in the form of meningitis and sepsis. The disease can strike rapidly and unexpectedly in healthy individuals. Although it can strike any age group, very young children and patients ages 16-23 have the highest incidence. Your recommendations about the meningococcal vaccines are necessary to combat this deadly disease.
Pertussis 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 most pertussis-related deaths occur in infants younger than age 3 months. The AAFP recommends that pregnant women receive tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines to protect infants against pertussis until they can start getting the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine at age 2 months.
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) remains a leading infectious cause of serious illness among older adults in the United States, where it results in hospitalization or death for thousands each year. Pneumococcal disease can cause pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis. Remind your patients that vaccinations are the best way to prevent pneumococcal disease.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that affects the lungs, making breathing difficult. The virus is common in children under 2, though people of all ages can get it. It is more serious for young and premature babies, as well as older adults with poor health.