Knowledge and utilization of recommended preventative vaccines among young adults

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1 Scopus citations


Background: Outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases continue to be a problem, with recent epidemics of measles, pertussis and influenza causing notable morbidity and mortality. Recommended routine vaccination of the adult population has been low and sporadic. Objectives: To examine the awareness, perception of risk, and knowledge of common vaccine preventable diseases in young adults. To assess utilization of vaccines (e.g. HPV, T dap and influenza), primary care provider recommendation of vaccines, and preventive healthcare trends in order to identify potential barriers to vaccination. Methods: An anonymous, prospective survey of graduate students in Chicago. Results: Survey was completed by 2,582 students; 53.3% were female. Seventy-eight percent were 18-26 years of age; 23% of sexually active students did not use condoms. Ninety-five percent reported having health insurance, but 26% of males and 12% of females rarely or never sought routine medical care. Average knowledge scores were significantly higher for HPV than pertussis and influenza. Over 80% of students would be willing to ask their physician about vaccines. Fourteen percent of women and 9.4% of students had been vaccinated against HPV and pertussis respectively. Primary obstacles to vaccination were perception of not being at risk for disease, vaccine cost, and lack of time. Conclusions: Despite media attention about various vaccine preventable diseases, a general awareness and openness towards vaccination, and adequate access to healthcare, the majority of young adults are not being offered or receiving recommended vaccinations. Personal risk perception and cost are major obstacles. New and creative interventions to reduce barriers to young adult vaccination are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Vaccines and Vaccination
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Bacterial organisms
  • Influenza
  • Pneumonia
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Virology


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