Vaccines play an integral role in the preclusion of preventable infectious diseases and have effected a significant reduction in the number of cases of various infections (e.g., diphtheria, paralytic poliomyelitis, and smallpox). Due to their documented positive impact on death, illness, and disability, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked vaccinations as one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century in the United States. This entry reviews the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable disease in adults, the types of vaccines used, and the current recommended vaccinations adults should receive. Information used for this submission includes published guidelines, clinical trials, and review articles.

Descriptive Epidemiology

According to the World Health Organization, vaccinations prevent an estimated 2.5 million deaths yearly from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, ...

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