Too Few Adults Up-to-Date on Vaccines
Vaccines are small shots of big importance. They've helped knock down serious diseases, such as chickenpox, whooping cough, and measles. Unfortunately, a recent government report shows too few adults are rolling up their sleeves for the vaccines they need.
Reporting too little use
The CDC analyzed the results of the most recent national survey on vaccine use. It found that many American adults are skipping recommended vaccines. Compared with past years, it's a consistent trend among men and women of all ages and races.
Some key findings: Little more than half of all adults reported receiving a tetanus shot. Less than 16 percent of older adults choose to protect themselves against shingles-a painful rash triggered by the chickenpox virus lingering in the body. On a positive note: More women are opting for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. It helps prevent cervical cancer.
Protecting more than you
Vaccines help stop the spread of disease. They also help save the lives of those who can't be vaccinated. Experts call this community immunity. For instance, children younger than 2 months are too young to be vaccinated against pertussis-a deadly childhood disease also known as whooping cough. To protect them, pregnant mothers and other close caregivers should receive the vaccine.
Wondering what shots you may need? It depends on many factors, including your age, any medical conditions you may have, your occupation, and your lifestyle. In general, adults should receive:
Some people may also benefit from vaccines for pneumonia, meningococcal disease, and hepatitis A and B. Talk with your health care provider to determine which vaccines are right for you.
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.
How much do you know about vaccines? Quiz yourself here.
The Value of a Vaccine Record
At some point in your life, you may need to confirm that you've had a certain vaccine. For example, international travel may require protection against diseases common to your destination. Colleges or a new employer may request proof of vaccination.
It's a good idea to keep a record of your vaccines. It will help you avoid duplicate shots. If you haven't kept track before, here are tips on how to build your vaccine record:
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