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New Survey on Adult Vaccination


New survey finds adult vaccination knowledge gaps in India; 43% of adults feel that they lack knowledge about adult vaccines

GSK launches Vaccinate for Life campaign to improve general awareness of the benefits of vaccination throughout life and encourage more conversations between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and their adult patients on vaccination


Multi-country survey reveals a communication gap between healthcare professionals and adult patients on vaccination throughout life


Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) citing immunisation as one of the most powerful and cost-effective interventions in public health1, a new survey conducted by Ipsos MORI and sponsored by GSK finds that 68 percent of adults are not up-to-date with the vaccines recommended for them.

Findings from the Vaccinate for Life survey of over 6,002 adults across Brazil, India, United States, Germany and Italy found that:


  • 15 percent of adults believe that vaccinations are only recommended for children and/or babies with 21 percent thinking they are only needed for travel purposes.
  • Just over 3 in 10 adults report not having had any of the vaccines potentially relevant to them within the past five years
  • 60 percent of adults say they have not received information provided by the government on the importance of adult vaccinations.*

Prioritisation of other health services: 53 percent of adults surveyed agree that although achieving a healthy lifestyle is important, they are more likely to prioritise other health services over vaccination.
* Question 11B not asked in Brazil

GSK today announced the findings from the ‘Vaccinate for Life’ survey carried out between the dates of July 6th to September 14th whereby 2,002 adults across 6 cities in India were surveyed (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai)The survey was aimed at ascertaining the awareness and attitudes towards vaccination throughout life among adults aged 18 years and over.

Highlights of the survey in India are as below:

While 42% of adults ranked staying in good physical health as the primary priority to them in life, staying up-to-date with vaccinations is typically less important compared with other ways of staying healthy such as eating healthily, keeping active and not smoking, particularly among males.


  • The majority of adults surveyed in India believe that although vaccines are an effective way to prevent serious illness, however:
    1. 34% believe them only to be required for travel purposes
    2. 38% believe vaccinations are for children and/or babies only
    3. 26% believe vaccinations are not required if one is fit and healthy
    4. 19% believe vaccinations are for the older population only
  • 43% of the adults surveyed consider themselves to be not very/not at all knowledgeable about adult vaccines
  • Almost half (49%) of adults are most likely toturn to HCPs for advice on vaccinations over any other source of information
  • Of those adults who have not consulted an HCP about adult vaccines in the past year, the key barriers are trust in their HCP to inform them of relevant vaccines combined with a lack of conversation with their HCP on the need to vaccinate throughout adulthood (75% of adults agreeing)Between 45% and 50% of adults listed Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and the HPV vaccine as most relevant to the 18-64 years’ audience
    1. Awareness of other vaccines which may be relevant is relatively low
    2. 31% of adults surveyed have not received any vaccination in the past five years

Adults value a range of information sources in helping them to understand record and track the vaccinations which are relevant to them → online tools, booklets and text messaging being the most useful
Speaking about the Vaccinate for Life survey, – A. Vaidheesh, Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited said, “The results of the survey highlight the crying need for awareness about adult vaccination in the country. Most people are familiar with the importance of vaccination in childhood however vaccination is equally important throughout life: for adolescents, adults and older people. According to the UNICEF and the World Bank, only clean drinking water rivals vaccination in its ability to save lives2. Despite this longstanding recommendation, the adult vaccination numbers are substantially low. The main reason behind this is a lack of general awareness – a fact that is amply established by the results of the survey.”

Speaking about the campaign, Dr. Shafi Kolhapure, Vice President Medical Affairs Vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited said, “The Vaccinate for Life campaign has been created in response to the global health need for increased adult vaccination rates. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that immunisation is one of the most cost-effective interventions in public health and as one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, GSK is committed to creating general awareness about vaccines and to partner with others to encourage vaccination throughout life.”

Mumbai Data

The Vaccinate for Life survey brought out some interesting results from Mumbai too.41% of adults classified staying in good health as their top priority, followed by a successful career and raising a family (16%), financial comfort (12%), and owning a house and travelling the world (6%). In terms of priorities, 68% of Mumbaikar parents believe that keeping up-to-date on their children’s immunisation is far more important than their own.

In terms of staying up-to-date with healthy habits, most Mumbaikars (80%) listed eating healthy as being most important followed by:

  • Not smoking (77%)
  • Exercising daily – (70%),
  • Staying up-to-date with vaccinations (50%)
  • Regular health check-ups (46%)
  • Cancer screenings(40%)
  • Regular dental checks (30%).

As far as source of information, adults depend on a range of options with 94% Mumbaikars rating healthcare professionals as their most trusted source of information followed by:

  • Magazines (90%)
  • Friends and family (87%)
  • Government websites (82%)
  • Media reports (81%)
  • Internet searches (77%)
  • Vaccine manufacturer websites (69%)
  • Bloggers and online forums (61%), and said they would go by
  • Celebrities’ views (51%)



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