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Too Few Adults Getting Vaccinated, Says New Report [AUDIO]

When it comes to vaccinations, adults aren’t doing the best job at keeping up to date. That’s according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc, Getty Images

“Besides the flu shot, there are about 11 vaccines recommended for adults and we found pretty dismal rates,” said Dr. Carolyn Bridges, Associate Director for Adult Immunizations for the CDC. “For example, the Zoster vaccine which prevents shingles is recommended for everyone 60 and older. That vaccine coverage rate was only 16 percent.”

Other shots which saw low coverage rates included pneumococcal vaccine and hepatitis A and B.

“Only 12.5 percent of adults received Tdap, which prevents against whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria,” said Bridges. “A lot of these diseases that these vaccines can prevent are quite common including shingles and pneumonia. Infants get whooping cough that spread to them from adults or teenagers in the house and that can be fatal for babies. So, it’s very important for adults to get the required vaccines.”

Why the Low Numbers?

“I think the problem is when we go and see the doctor, we’re often trying to address a specific issue or dealing with an urgent matter and often times, we don’t get around to talking about preventive measures,” said Bridges. “Adults also see so many different health care providers for so many different things and sometimes these things slip through the cracks. We clearly have a lot of work to do to raise awareness and make sure people know which vaccines they might need.”

The biggest improvements, according to the report, were seen among young women receiving the HPV vaccine or the human papillomavirus. Nearly 30 percent of women ages 19 to 26 had received at least one dose which is up from about 21 percent in 2010. Of men in the same age group, 2.1 percent had received the shot in 2011 which was up from 0.6 percent in 2010.

More information from the CDC on vaccines is available here.

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