Laura Landro, in her column “The Informed Patient,” discusses the problem of adults neglecting to get vaccinated for new illnesses. Not only that, but adults forget or are unaware that some childhood vaccinations lose efficacy after some time and need to be re-done. Skipping pre-travel vaccinations is also a common error.
Part of the problem is insurance: not only is vaccination for the very young more likely to be encouraged, but it is also more likely to be covered by insurance providers.
The whole column is worth a read, but here are some disturbing statistics Landro cites:
-only 2.1% of adults are vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, despite the existence of a combination vaccine for all three.
-only 1.9% of adults have been vaccinated for shingles. The shingles vaccine is recommended for all adults over 60.
-only 10% of women from 18 to 26 have received the vaccine for human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer, and which most insurance providers will cover.