Importance of Adolescent Vaccines Highlighted

July 17, 2008

The United States must focus on effective delivery if adolescents are going to benefit from the development of recent vaccines, according to two articles published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The United States must focus on effective delivery if adolescents are going to benefit from the development of recent vaccines, according to two articles published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

In the first article, Gary L. Freed, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and members of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) point out that three vaccines now exist to prevent five serious diseases: meningococcal meningitis, human papillomavirus and a combination vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. In order to achieve the health benefits of these vaccinations, the United States will need to address issues related to adolescent access and ability to consent for vaccinations. Closely tied to system access is the additional barrier of the financial cost of these vaccinations. Finally, significant educational efforts to reach the adolescents and their providers will be essential to implement recommended adolescent vaccinations.

In the second article, Freed and members of the NVAC examined the issue of adolescent vaccine mandates. The group recommends that states must partner with schools and local immunization programs to consider both intended and unintended consequences before mandating adolescent vaccines. Additionally, states need to gain adequate public support prior to mandating and seamlessly incorporate the new mandates into existing vaccine legislation for successful implementation.

"With three new vaccines available to combat five serious diseases thereis an opportunity to prevent these specific illnesses, to help adolescents increase their health care access and to support their growth and development to productive adults," Freed and colleagues conclude.

Several study authors report financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) Abstract Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.