Vaccinations you need as an adult - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Vaccinations you need as an adult

(WFLX) - Tears come with the territory in most pediatricians' offices -- where kids have a strict vaccine schedule to follow.

But you won't find stickers and lollipops at your general practitioner's office. "I think we do a much better job immunizing children in this country than adults," said Dr. Sharon Bergquist of Emory University's School of Medicine.

A new survey by Walgreens finds nearly half of American adults are unaware of government-recommended vaccines for their age group. "It really is an issue I would say of awareness and access to a healthcare professional who can help educate you," said Jeffrey Kang, the senior vice president of health and wellness at Walgreens.

Most of us know about yearly flu shots. But experts say all adults over age 65 should get the pneumonia vaccine -- one shot should last the rest of your life.

The itchy chicken pox you had as a kid can rear their ugly little heads again now that you're an adult -- in the form of extremely painful shingles.

But studies show a Zostavax booster shot can cut the chances of developing shingles by half, or at least reduce the severity of the disease. "There are a million cases a year of shingles and its not just a rash, its a very painful rash that can be debilitating," said Dr. Bergquist.

Doctors say the number one reason we're seeing an increase in whooping cough cases in children is because their parents haven't gotten their pertussis booster shot. It is added to the diphtheria and tetanus shot that's recommended every 10 years. "These disease are not rare diseases that you won't encounter; they will hit home," said Dr. Bergquist.

Doctors say the best way to protect yourself and your family is to roll up your sleeve.

The Walgreens survey showed fewer than half of participants had regular checkups which is where they would learn if they needed a booster shot.

Some adults, like those with chronic conditions or who plan to travel abroad, need additional vaccines.

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