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Study Seeks Answers Regarding Sliding Adult Vaccination Numbers

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- Each year, thousands of deaths in adults occur due to conditions including the flu that could have potentially been prevented by one of the 11 recommended vaccines available to adults. Researchers sought to figure out why, despite annually updated guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination numbers are falling short of national goals.

For a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a team of researchers led by Laura P. Hurley, MD, MPH, from Denver Health in Colorado, surveyed more than 600 general internists and family physicians on what they felt were barriers to vaccine delivery. While the vast majority of doctors checked their patients’ vaccination status at least once a year, these discussions did not always take place. This may be due, in part, to how doctors often find it difficult to obtain organized records of vaccination history, especially given how vaccines are now delivered at the workplace, senior centers, local pharmacies, public health outlets, emergency rooms and in other doctors’ offices.

However, some doctors reported that when adult patients did not have all of their recommended shots, they had no choice but to refer these patients elsewhere; less than a third of the surveyed physicians carried a full stock of all 11 vaccines, citing financial limitations of maintaining batches of vaccines small private practices and suboptimal insurance coverage of certain vaccines for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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