Adults need to roll up their sleeves to protect themselves, their children

Published On: Apr 23 2012 04:25:25 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2012 06:41:29 PM EDT

Vaccinations in adulthood could help reduce risk for certain illnesses such as shingles.

Whooping cough, shingles, and pneumonia are three reasons why adults should realize there could be vaccines they need, but that they're not getting them.

A new survey by Walgreens revealed that nearly half of adults in America don't know which vaccines are recommended for their age group.

And according to government research, more than 40,000 adults die each year from vaccine-preventable illnesses.

"I think we do a much better job immunizing children in this country than adults," said Sharon Bergquist, M.D., Emory University School of Medicine.

Doctors have said the number one reason there is an increase in whooping cough cases in children is because parents have not received their pertussis booster shot. It is added to the diphtheria and tetanus shot that adults should every ten years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the following are the recommended vaccines for adults:

Influenza: all adults, every year
Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (TdTdap): booster vaccine every 10 years
Zoster (Shingles): age 60 and over, 1 dose
Pneumonia: over 65, 1 dose
For more information on recommended vaccines, click here.

The Walgreens survey showed fewer than half of its participants had regular check ups where they could learn if they needed a booster shot.

"It really is an issue I would say of awareness and access to a health care professional who can help educate you," said Jeffrey Kang, Senior VP of Health and Wellness at Walgreens.

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