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Michigan adults urged to stay current with immunizations, make health a priority

Tuesday, July 5, 2016  
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Every year, tens of thousands of adult Americans suffer serious health problems including hospitalization and even death from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines. The best way to ensure protection from several serious diseases and related complications is for adults to stay up-to-date on vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) in a press announcement released on June 28, 2016.

“Vaccination not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of certain diseases within the community, especially to those that are most at risk, including infants and young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “It’s important that adults take the time to talk to their physicians about immunizations and prioritize their health so they can lead long, healthy lives and also help promote healthier Michigan communities.”

While many adults suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccination rates are extremely low nationally and statewide. Fewer than 30 percent of adults in the United States who are recommended to receive Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) and shingles vaccination have gotten these vaccines.

In Michigan, even high risk groups are not getting the vaccines they need – for example, only 30.6 percent of adults younger than 65 years old who are at high risk for complications from pneumococcal disease are vaccinated. Adults living with diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, HIV, and heart disease are particularly vulnerable.

Vaccines provide adults protection against shingles, influenza, pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis B-related chronic liver disease and liver cancer, HPV-related cancers and genital warts, whooping cough, tetanus, and more.

Most health insurance plans cover adult vaccines. Talk to your healthcare provider today about vaccines that are recommended for you. If your healthcare provider does not offer the vaccines that you need, ask for a referral so you can get the vaccines elsewhere. Getting vaccinated is a lifelong, life-protecting job – you are never too old to be immunized. 

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Source: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

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