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More than 30 percent of seniors not immunized against pneumonia, says study

Posted On Thu, February 4, 2010

A new study has found that a surprisingly low number of senior citizens are taking the initiative to get immunized against pneumonia.

According to a new report released Thursday by the Trust for America's Health, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than 30 percent of adults over the age of 65 were not fully immunized against pneumonia in 36 states in 2008.

Furthermore, the report found that Washington D.C. had the highest percentage of seniors who were not immunized against the condition at 45.6 percent, while Oregon had the lowest non-immunization rate at 26.8 percent.

Nationally, the report found that 33.1 percent of senior citizens had not received their pneumonia immunizations. However, the study also concluded that improved vaccination statistics could help prevent up to 50,000 deaths every year and save $10 billion in preventable health care costs.

"Thousands of lives could be saved each year if we could increase the number of adults who receive routine and recommended vaccinations," said Dr. Jeffrey Levi TFAH's executive director. "We need a national strategy to make vaccines a regular part of medical care and to educate Americans about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines."

Whether or not a senior citizen receives their immunization for pneumonia, the fact remains that the condition can be quite deadly and should be prepared for on numerous fronts, including making sure that one is adequately covered by their health insurance or medicare provider.

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