More Older Americans Getting Pneumonia Shots

Between 2000 and 2007, the proportion of Americans age 65 and older who were vaccinated against pneumonia increased from 53 percent to 58 percent, but the rate fell far short of the Healthy People 2010 goal of 90 percent for pneumonia vaccinations in that age group, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Healthy People 2010 is a federal initiative which provides a framework for prevention for the nation.

The federal agency found that by 2007:

-- About 60 percent of the elderly white seniors, 44 percent of elderly blacks, and 32 percent of Hispanic elders reported being vaccinated against pneumonia.

-- In contrast, the rate for Asians and Pacific Islanders. decreased from 42 percent to 34.5 percent.

-- The rates for lower- and higher -income elderly Americans were 49 percent and 61 percent, respectively

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on information in the 2009 National Healthcare Disparities Report (, pages 70-71), which examines the disparities in Americans' access to and quality of healthcare, with breakdowns by race, ethnicity, income, and education.