Skip to Content Skip to Search

GSK launches national public awareness campaign to reverse steep decline in already low immunization rates for adults

For media and investors only

Issued: Philadelphia, PA

GSK today launched a national campaign to help increase low rates of vaccination among older adults. The campaign, Brought to You By Vaccines, will educate adults ages 50 and older about the value of vaccines and the urgent need to talk to their healthcare provider or pharmacist about the recommended vaccines they need or may have recently missed.

“There has been a significant drop in routine healthcare visits during the stay-at-home measures, leading to a dangerous decline in immunizations among adults. We are doing everything we can to help prevent outbreaks of other diseases that would add to the already tragic public health crisis of the pandemic,” said Judy Stewart, Senior Vice President, Head of US Vaccines at GSK. “We must protect against other infectious diseases—ones we can prevent with existing, recommended vaccines.”

Less than half of adults in the US receive most vaccines recommended for them, in part because awareness is low.[i] Since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures to slow the spread of the disease in the US, ordering rates across adult vaccines among healthcare practices have dropped an average of 62 percent.[ii]

Most illnesses, hospitalizations, disability and deaths from vaccine-preventable illnesses occur among adults.[iii] An estimated average of 50,000 Americans die of vaccine-preventable diseases each year – with adults, and especially older adults, disproportionally impacted.[iv] Thousands more suffer serious health problems that could have been prevented with recommended immunizations.[v] The US spends about $26.5 billion annually treating four major vaccine-preventable diseases (influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles and pertussis) among US adults ages 50 years and older.[vi]

As part of the campaign, GSK is also supporting a broad initiative by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to educate patients about the importance of immunization over the next year.

“We are committed to working with providers and the broader public health community to close the gap on adult immunizations and ensure a high level of community protection against all vaccine-preventable infectious diseases,” said Barbara Howe, MD, Vice President and Director, Clinical Research and Development and Medical Affairs at GSK Vaccines.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccines for adults because immunity from childhood vaccines wears off over time. Adults are also at risk for different diseases compared to children and their risk generally increases over time because their immune systems weaken as they age. Adults ages 50 and older may need a number of vaccines, based on their age, underlying medical conditions, lifestyle, prior vaccinations, and other considerations. Recommended adult vaccines protect against diseases like influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, hepatitis, pertussis and tetanus. 

GSK has launched a website where adults ages 50 and older can learn about the value and importance of vaccines and see a list of vaccines routinely recommended for their age group. The campaign, which will also utilize advertising, news media and social media, will run through 2021. Visit for more information and resources.

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit

GSK enquiries:




US Media enquiries:

Sean Clements

+1 215 740 3088


Analyst/Investor enquiries:

Sarah Elton-Farr

+44 (0) 20 8047 5194



Danielle Smith

+44 (0) 20 8047 0932



James Dodwell

+44 (0) 20 8047 2406



Jeff McLaughlin

+1 215 751 7002



Frannie DeFranco

+1 215 751 4855


Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D "Risk Factors" in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2019 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccination Coverage Among Adults in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 2016. Available at:  

[ii] Drug distribution data from IQVIA for April and May 2020, showing change v. April and May 2019

[iii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surveillance of Vaccination Coverage Among Adult Populations — United States, 2015. Available at:

[iv] National Center for Immunization & Respiratory Diseases. Disease Burden Among Adults for Vaccine Preventable

Diseases: Medical, Social, and Economic Costs. Available at:

[v] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine-Preventable Adult Diseases. Available at:  

[vi] McLaughlin JM, McGinnis JJ, Tan L, et al. Estimated Human and Economic Burden of Four Major Adult Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States, 2013. J Prim Prev. 2015;36(4):259–273.