7 Healthcast: Adult vaccines
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Shingles is the adult version of chicken pox. It usually hits seniors, and it's very painful.
Adults can also get whooping cough.
There are new vaccines for both, but the CDC reports, only about 2% of adults have taken them.
"Everybody thinks vaccines are for children. They know that their babies need shots, or their children need boosters," said Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Anne Schuchat. "Very few people think about vaccines for adults."
Adult vaccinations are recommended for 14 illnesses, including measles, mumps, meningitis, hepatitis and HPV.
But in a survey by the national foundation for infectious diseases, very few adults even knew about them.
One suggestion: make it easier for people to get these vaccines outside a doctor's office.
"You get your influenza vaccination, your pneumococcal vaccination at the pharmacy, fax me a note saying that we gave you an influenza, pneumococcal vaccination," said Dr. Robert Hopkins of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. "We'll put that in the patient's record. And that helps me to provide better longitudinal care."
Insurance covers some vaccines. Doctors say they'd be more likely to offer them if insurance paid the full cost.
"For instance, the cost of this vaccine in my office is $120 a shot," said Dr. Stanley Gall of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "Well, if they reimburse $50, why would I even carry it in my office?"
Health experts are trying to get the word out that to protect your children you also have to protect yourself.
If you're wondering exactly which vaccines to get, visit www.cdc.gov
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