We’ve all heard about the importance of getting our flu shots this season, but did you know that there are 10 vaccines commonly recommended for adults? I spoke with Dave Lucas at ABC News about the low rates of adult vaccinations in the US, and encouraged people to ask their doctors if they’re up to date with their vaccinations.
- Although vaccination rates among children are fairly high, adults are not faring as well. Although our goal is to vaccinate 90% of adults age 65 and older for the flu, we’re only reaching 66% of them.
- 50,000 adults die each year in the United States from vaccine-preventable illnesses, primarily flu and pneumonia. There are actually 10 different vaccines that are recommended for adults, and most people can only name one of them: the flu shot.
- The pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax) (which protects adults from certain types of pneumonia) and should be given one time to everyone age 65 and older or any younger persons who have a chronic health conditions. Only 60% of adults 65 years and older have received this vaccine.
- The HPV vaccine is recommended for women up to the age of 26 – it can substantially reduce the risk of cervical cancer. Unfortunately only about 10% of eligible young women ages 19-26 have been vaccinated with one or more dose. Three doses are needed for full protection.
- And the shingles vaccine – only 7% of adults over 60 get this one, even though one in three adults gets the shingles at some point in their lifetime. One of the problems with shingles is that it can cause a long lasting pain syndrome (called post herpetic neuralgia) that’s very difficult to treat.