FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

CDC recommends immunizations for adults

Thousands of adults in the U.S. suffer serious health problems or even die from vaccine-preventable diseases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.

The CDC said that few adults realize that vaccines other than the flu vaccine are needed to protect their health. Diseases like whooping cough, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, shingles, certain bacterial infections and some cancers including cervical cancer and liver cancer can be prevented by diseases. The CDC recommends that adults talk to their doctors to determine which vaccines are recommended.

The protection conferred by childhood immunizations does not last a lifetime and as a result, adults can be vulnerable to diseases like whooping cough. The CDC recommends that all adults get one dose of the Tdap whooping cough vaccine to protect themselves and to protect loved ones from contracting the disease.

Adults may also be recommended for particular vaccines because of their job, travel, hobbies, age or health conditions. Doctors may recommend other vaccines in case an individual did not receive the vaccines as a child or an adolescent.

Older adults and adults with chronic health conditions may be at higher risk for complications from vaccine-preventable diseases. For instance, the CDC recommends that adults get the shingles vaccine once they turn 60 years old.

Adult immunization can also help to prevent the most vulnerable members of the community from getting sick.

"Adult immunization is necessary because it not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but can also help prevent the spread of certain disease to loved ones and those in the community who are most vulnerable to disease (like those with weakened immune systems and infants)," the CDC said.

Vaccines are available at doctor offices, community health clinics, workplaces, pharmacies and health departments.