August is National Immunization month, so all month long, we’ll be highlighting the importance of getting immunizations, even as an adult. Even if you’ve had childhood vaccinations, you should get them boosted as an adult.
FACT: Every year, hundreds of thousands of of adults get sick from diseases that could have been prevented by a vaccination.
- The CDC estimates that flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually since 2010.
- About 900,000 people get pneumococcal pneumonia every year, leading to as many as 400,000 hospitalizations and 28,000 deaths.
- About 10% to 13% of people who get shingles will experience a painful complication called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash. This pain can last from weeks to years.
- 850,000 to 2.2 million people suffer from chronic hepatitis B, with complications such as liver cancer.
According to CDC data:
- Only 27% of adults 19 years or older had received Tdap vaccination.
- Only 33% of adults 60 years or older had received shingles (herpes zoster) vaccination.
- Only 24% of adults 19 to 64 years at increased risk had received pneumococcal vaccination.
- Only about 43% of adults 18 years or older received a flu vaccine during the 2016-2017 flu season.
If you’re wondering which vaccinations you need, follow this link to the CDC’s Adult Vaccine Quiz.
You can also print this chart and talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccinations are right for you.
BONUS: UPREHS covers most adult vaccinations as long as they follow the CDC age recommendations.