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Adult Vaccines

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In the last few years, at least three new adult vaccines have come out. But there aren't that many adults rolling up their sleeves and lining up to get those shots.

Most people got immunized as babies to prevent a dozen or so serious diseases, but experts say there are up to eight vaccines just for grownups now.

"Many adults don't feel like they're at risk or that they're vulnerable for these diseases. They think about vaccines being for children. But there are many old and new vaccines that are recommended for adults," says Dr. Julie Morita, Chicago Dept. of Public Health.

Dr. Julie Morita heads the Vaccine Program at the Chicago Department of Public Health. She says in the last three years, the government has recommended three new adult vaccines. Shingles if you're over 60, whooping cough or pertussis, and HPV for younger women, which may prevent cervical cancer.

"Pertussis or whooping cough is the most recently recommended," said Dr. Morita.

But the CDC says less than 10% of the adult population is up to date on vaccines.

So why aren't more grownups rolling up their sleeves? Insurance may not cover the shots, which can cost $200. And while federal programs fund shots for kids, there's no such thing for adults.

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