The need for immunization into adulthood, and particuarly older adulthood, is "not well understood by the general public," said family physician Gretchen LaSalle, MD, in a converation with Patient Care® on vaccine hesitancy in the US.
LaSalle observes that education in this country on the importance of adult vaccines, including against influenza, pneumonia, shingles, tetanus, and others has never been strong. Add to that the ground lost during the pandemic as social distancing measures kept adults and children from accessing regular preventive health care and the scenario finds LaSalle and primary care clinicians of all backgrouns "fighting hard to catch up."
LaSalle talked about the immunization challenges she anticipates in her practice as kids return to school, flu season approaches, and COVID-19 bivalent boosters become available.
Gretchen LaSalle, MD, is a family physician with the MultiCare health system in Spokane, WA, and clinical associate professor for the Washington State University, Elson S Floyd College of Medicine, also in Spokane. LaSalle is a speaker and an author, most recently of the book, Let's Talk Vaccines: A Clinician's Guide to Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Saving Lives. She has served as clinical preceptor for the University of Washington MEDEX program and other training programs for physician assistants and nurse practioners.