Adults need vaccines, too. That’s the take-home message of an effort launched on Monday by the California Medical Association Foundation.
It created an easy-to-read, at-a-glance guide to adult vaccines because of a strong consumer need for it, said Lisa Folberg, president and CEO of the foundation. It’s called Community Immunity.
“This is in response to a very real concern,” Folberg said. “There has been a lot of focus on kids, and rightly so. But the need for vaccines doesn’t change when you turn 18.”
The percentage of adults getting needed vaccinations is low in several areas, according to the CDC:
- Adults get the tetanus vaccine and 10-year booster 62.9% of the time;
- About one in four (24.2%) of people over the age of 60 reported having received the herpes zoster vaccine that helps prevent shingles in people over the age of 50 who have had the chicken pox; and
- Pneoumococcal vaccination coverage among high risk adults ages 19 to 64 was 21.2% overall.
Adults are at risk for more than a dozen diseases that can be prevented or limited by vaccines, Folberg said.
“Older adults can be immune-sensitive, like with shingles,” she said. “The good news is we have these vaccines. They’re one of the most effective public health tools we have this half-century, along with antibiotics.”
The guide is available in English and Spanish, Folberg said, and can be a resource for patients and providers.