Nearly half of U.S. adults are unaware of recommended vaccinations

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by KING 5 HealthLink

KING5.com

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

A new survey by Walgreens finds nearly half of American adults are unaware of what vaccines are recommended for their age group.

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

Most of us know about yearly flu shots, but experts say all adults over age 65 should get the pneumonia vaccine - one shot should last the rest of your life.

The itchy chicken pox you had as a kid can return again, this time in the form of painful shingles. But studies show a Zostavax booster shot at age 60 cuts your risk in half. It can also reduce the severity of the disease.

"There are a million cases a year of shingles and its not just a rash, it’s a very painful rash that can be debilitating," said Sharon Bergquist, M.D., Emory University School of Medicine

The number one reason we're seeing an increase in whooping cough cases in children is because adults haven't gotten their pertussis booster shot. It's added to the diphtheria and tetanus shot that's recommended every 10 years.

The Walgreens survey showed fewer than half of participants had regular checkups, which is where they would learn if they needed a booster shot.

Some adults - like those with chronic conditions or who plan to travel abroad - need additional vaccines.

CLICK for latest CDC guidelines

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