Vaccines: Not Just for Kids

January 19, 2009 7:46:01 PM PST
If you can't remember the last time you had a vaccination ... doctors say it's been too long.Babies get them all the time. But few adults keep up with the vaccines they need. Dr. Richard Lee says the shingles vaccine is one you should know about. The disease can wreak havoc on older people.

Richard V. Lee, MD Physician said, "It hurts. It's a very unpleasant illness."

The vaccine can cut the risk of getting shingles by half. Less than 2-percent of adults who qualify receive it. The Centers for Disease Control recommends it for those over 60. Another vaccine to consider protects against chicken pox. It's especially important before women get pregnant because chicken pox can cause birth defects in unborn babies. Next up, the flu vaccine. It not only protects you from the flu each year but?

"It may make you a more likely person to have less of a serious illness when the next pandemic bug comes along.'

The hepatitis-B vaccine is also a must. The disease affects 80-thosand Americans a year and kills 5-thousand. Finally, a whooping cough vaccine known as t-dap is needed every ten years but only 2-percent of adults get it.

"Now this will hurt a little bit."

Suzanne Hall is getting the T-Dap vaccine. As an adult, she never thought much about getting vaccines.

Suzanne Hall said, "I don't think that once we reach adulthood, especially if we have children, we're thinking about them so much. We don't really think that we're going to be at risk."

Dr. Lee says that line of thinking is too common and dangerous.

"People need to understand that after a period of time, their immunity begins to wane."

Just a little pinch of protection can go a long way. More than 16 adult diseases can be prevented by getting vaccinated.

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