Vaccines aren’t just for kids; adults also need to get immunized. Overall, far too many people 19 years and older aren’t getting the vaccines they need and remain unprotected. In this podcast, Dr. Walter Williams discuss the importance of adults being fully vaccinated. Created: 2/21/2013 by MMWR.
Date Released: 2/21/2013. Series Name: A Cup of Health with CDC.
A CUP OF HEALTH WITH CDC
Noninfluenza Vaccination Coverage Among Adults – United States, 2011
Recorded: February 19, 2013; posted: February 22, 2013
[Announcer] This program is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[Dr. Gaynes] Welcome to A Cup of Health with CDC, a weekly feature of the MMWR, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. I’m your host, Dr. Robert Gaynes.
Vaccines aren't just for kids; adults also need to get immunized. Overall, far too many people 19 years and older aren't getting the vaccines they need and remain unprotected.
Dr. Walter Williams is a researcher with CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. He's joining us today to discuss the importance of adults being fully vaccinated. Welcome to the show, Walter.
[Dr. Williams] Thank you, Bob. I'm happy to be here.
[Dr. Gaynes] Walter, what vaccines are recommended for adults?
[Dr. Williams] Vaccines are available to protect adults 19 and older from 14 diseases. Most adults may have already had or had shots to protect against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and chicken pox. We should all get our flu shot every year to protect ourselves from getting influenza and spreading it to family members or others. Other adults may need vaccines because of health conditions, their job, their age, lifestyle, or travel to foreign countries where certain diseases may be more common.
Pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for adults who have high risk conditions, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma. Adults who are 65 or older should also get the pneumococcal vaccine. Those 60 and older should get the shingles vaccine. Persons working in health care settings need hepatitis B vaccine. Other vaccines you may need include those that protect against hepatitis A; human papillomavirus, which can cause certain cancers; and meningococcal disease. To find out more about what you might need, talk to your doctor or other health care professional and get vaccinated.
[Dr. Gaynes] Walter, are adults getting vaccinated like they should?
[Dr. Williams] Bob, most adults are not getting the vaccines they need and remain unprotected. For example, our latest information showed that only about three in 10 young women have had at least one of the three recommended doses of HPV vaccine which helps prevent cervical cancer. Unfortunately, only one in eight adults have received a Tdap vaccine which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, or whooping cough. Only about one in five adults with high-risk health conditions have received the recommended pneumococcal vaccine.
[Dr. Gaynes] Why aren't adults getting all the vaccines they need?
[Dr. Williams] It's likely a combination of factors. At the top of the list is that many adults are not aware that they need vaccines, too. In addition, many doctors are so busy taking care of chronic health conditions and acute illnesses in adults that vaccination may not get as high a priority.
[Dr. Gaynes] Are there vaccines that require booster doses throughout life?
[Dr. Williams] The key vaccine requiring a booster dose is the tetanus-diptheria vaccine – TD. A TD booster is recommended every 10 years. At some time, however, in adult life, you should substitute the TD vaccine with Tdap. Tdap also protects against whooping cough, or pertussis. Then boost with TD every 10 years.
[Dr. Gaynes] Walter, why is it so important for adults to stay up-to-date on their vaccines?
[Dr. Williams] Staying up-to-date on your vaccines prevents illness in yourself but can also prevent the spread of illness to others. For example, giving the Tdap vaccine to close contacts of infants, including their parents, grandparents, and other caregivers can prevent the spread of whooping cough and its severe complications to infants too young to be vaccinated. Vaccinating pregnant women with influenza vaccine and Tdap vaccine can protect their newborn infants from severe flu and from whooping cough. When you're not up-to-date on your vaccines, you leave yourself and your loved ones vulnerable to potentially serious diseases.
[Dr. Gaynes] Where can listeners get more information about adult vaccines?
[Dr. Williams] To learn more, listeners can talk to their health care provider and visit cdc.gov/vaccines.
[Dr. Gaynes] Thanks, Walter. I've been talking today with CDC's Dr. Walter Williams about the importance of adults being fully vaccinated.
Remember, staying up-to-date on your vaccines prevents illness in yourself, but can also prevent the spread of illness to others. Vaccines are available to protect adults from 14 diseases, so check with your health care provider to see if you're fully immunized.
Until next time, be well. This is Dr. Robert Gaynes for A Cup of Health with CDC.
[Announcer] For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.