Americans seem to be putting their children's health ahead of their own - at least when it comes to keeping up with vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 90 percent of children under age 3 have received the recommended inoculations for diseases like polio, measles, mumps, rubella and hepatitis.
But far fewer adults are up to date on vaccines, including tetanus shots, which are recommended for everyone, and vaccines against hepatitis A and B, pneumonia, HPV and shingles, which are recommended for people of certain ages or certain risk factors.
Here are the numbers:
The percentage of Americans age 19-49 who have received any form of tetanus booster shot in the last 10 years. Sixty-four percent of adults 50-64 year-olds have received a booster, but that drops to 54 percent for those over 65. The CDC recommends a tetanus booster every 10 years, and the Tdap vaccine (a tetanus shot that also protects against whooping cough) for any adult who has not had one.
The percentage of Americans over 60 who have received the herpes zoster vaccine, which prevents shingles. Anyone who had chicken pox is at risk for the painful rash, and the CDC recommends this vaccine for people over 60 because their immune systems weaken with age.
The percentage of Americans over 65 who have received pneumococcal vaccines, which guard against pneumonia. The CDC recommends it for everyone in that age bracket, as well as for younger people with certain medical conditions, including heart disease, liver disease, cancer, diabetes and asthma.
The percentage of American women age 19-26 have received the HPV vaccination, which protects against cervical cancer and certain types of oral and anal cancers. Three percent of men age 19-21 have been vaccinated. The CDC recommends the vaccination for all 11-year-old girls and women up to age 26 and 11-year-old boys and men up to age 21.
The percentage of Americans age 19-49 who have received hepatitis B vaccines. Only 13 percent have been vaccinated against hepatitis A. Both diseases can be transmitted through blood or sexual contact. The CDC recommends people be vaccinated if they have multiple sexual partners, travel to countries where the infection rate is high, work in health care, or have certain medical conditions like HIV, kidney or liver disease.
Source for childhood vaccines: 1.usa.gov/chFT81 Source for adult vaccines: 1.usa.gov/WTYigz