Many adults are not aware of important vaccinations they need

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

(BPT) – – Which vaccinations should adults get? If you answered, “I don’t know,” don’t worry – you’re not alone. A new national survey of adults in the United States reveals that more than two-thirds don’t know which vaccinations they need beyond just the flu shot. Adults need vaccinations not only to protect themselves from serious diseases but also to prevent spreading illnesses to their family, friends and other loved ones. Millions of Americans get sick from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines each year, causing them to miss work and leaving them unable to care for those who depend on them, including children and aging parents.

Even though many diseases can now be prevented by vaccines, there are still nearly 1 million cases of shingles (which is caused by the chickenpox virus) in the United States every year, and almost one out of three people will develop shingles in their lifetime. Also, cases of whooping cough have increased significantly within the last year – there have been 26,000 cases of whooping cough reported in the United States as of early September, which is more than twice as many reported at this time last year.

To help people get the vaccinations they need, Sam’s Club is offering 10 vaccines this cold and flu season at all locations with a pharmacy. In partnership with Mollen Immunization Clinics, the retailer is providing an expanded menu of vaccines administered by registered nurses through Nov. 15.

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Specific vaccines include the following:

* Flu – Protects against influenza (also known as the flu), which is a contagious respiratory illness

* Pneumococcal – Protects against pneumococcus, which can cause several infections, such as pneumonia

* Varicella – Protects against chickenpox

* Herpes zoster – Protects against shingles, which is caused by the chickenpox virus

* Tdap – Protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (also known as whooping cough), which is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection

* HPV – Protects against human papillomavirus, which is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause common conditions, such as warts, as well as more serious diseases, such as cervical cancer

* MMR – Protects against measles, mumps and rubella (also known as German measles)

* Meningitis – Protects against meningococcal disease, which is a serious bacterial illness that can cause bacterial meningitis

* Hepatitis A – Protects against hepatitis A virus infection, which causes a liver disease

* Hepatitis B – Protects against hepatitis B virus infection, which also causes a liver disease

“Many adults have not received one or more of the vaccinations that they should be getting, and undervaccinated communities are at a higher risk for local outbreaks of disease,” says Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president of Sam’s Club health and wellness. “By offering these vaccines this year, we continue to help our communities live healthy at a low cost and remarkable value.”