August is National Immunization Awareness Month


banner AdultsNational Immunization Awareness Month

Every year, thousands of adults in the U.S. needlessly suffer, are hospitalized, and even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.

  • Vaccines are recommended for adults to prevent serious diseases such as influenza, shingles, pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria, hepatitis, and whooping cough.
  • Older adults and adults with chronic conditions are at risk for serious complications from vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Many of these diseases are common in the U.S., and all adults – even healthy ones – can benefit from vaccination.
  • The need for vaccination does not end in childhood. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, locations of travel, medical conditions and vaccines received in the past.

Only 24% of adults 60 years or older had received shingles (herpes zoster) vaccination. – National Health Interview Survey 2013

 Only 21% of adults 19 to 64 years at high risk had received pneumococcal vaccination. – National Health Interview Survey 2013

Only 42% of adults 18 years or older received a flu vaccine during the 2013-2104 flu season. – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2014

All adults should get the influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu.

Every adult should also get the Td or Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.

In addition, women are also recommended to get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.