Mia Hamm joins effort for adult vaccinations

Soccer star Mia Hamm has started a national effort in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline to remind adults about the importance of vaccinations for healthy living.

The public health campaign, dubbed "Give Your Health A Shot," emphasizes the importance of working with healthcare providers to ensure that vaccinations are given as part of an overall health and wellness plan.

“By working out and eating well, I thought I had checked the boxes for a healthy life," Hamm said. "Now I know that vaccines are also important defensive tools to help protect adults from serious diseases. The recent outbreaks of whooping cough in my home state of California and around the country are a wake-up call for all of us to do our part to help protect ourselves, our families and our community. Check in with your healthcare provider to make sure you are up-to-date on all of the vaccinations recommended for you.”

Vaccinations are important for adults, who are more likely than children to die of diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. Tens of thousands of adults die in the U.S. each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

“As a specialist in internal medicine, I’ve seen first-hand why prevention is so important. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of catching and spreading serious diseases,” Dr. Brad Moore, a fellow of the American College of Physicians and an associate professor of medicine and of health policy at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, said. “Vaccines aren’t always top of mind for my adult patients, but I encourage them to seek vaccination as part of an overall health and wellness plan.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that staying active, eating a balanced diet, keeping a healthy body weight, abstaining from smoking and getting enough sleep are also key steps to maintain health. Regular check-ups should also be scheduled to learn about exams, tests and shots that may be needed.