Vaccines are Important

Posted on March 11, 2010


Many adults do not get the vaccines they need. Parents typically ensure that their children have all their vaccinations, but a new report shows that 40,000 to 50,000 American adults die each year from diseases that could have been prevented with vaccines. The report was released jointly by the Trust for America’s Health, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The article in HealthDay News cites the pneumonia vaccine and the flu vaccine as examples of vaccines that adults are skipping. More than 30 percent of adults 65 and older in 36 states had not received the pneumonia vaccine. The CDC recommends the pneumonia vaccine for all adults age 65 and older. In 2008, the flu vaccine was only received by 36.1 percent of adults. Medicare Part B covers both the flu and pneumonia vaccines.

It is also cited in the article that only 2.1 percent of adults have had a tetanus, diphtheria and whopping cough vaccines. The tetanus vaccine is covered under Medicare Part B if you step on a rusty nail or have been exposed to the disease. Otherwise it should be covered under your Part D plan, but check with your plan to see how they cover vaccines.

Few adults also receive the vaccine boosters that are recommended for them. Tetanus shots only last 10 years.

The report listed many reasons as to why adults do not get their vaccines, which include: access to the vaccines since they are not required in most work places, lack of insurance and the ability to afford the vaccines, and fear that vaccines are not safe.

The report also listed some recommendations to encourage adults to get vaccines. These recommendations include: increasing coverage of vaccines by insurance companies, vaccine coverage for the uninsured and education about the safety of vaccines.