50,000 Adults Die Each Year Of Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Diseases easily preventable by adult vaccines kill more Americans each year than car wrecks, breast cancer, or AIDS.

I found this article from WebMD to be both interesting and surprising.  According to the article, the diseases are flu, Hepatitis B, pneumococca, meningitis, shingles, human papillomavirus, tetanus, and whooping cough.

According to the CDC survey:

  • Pneumococcal vaccine is used by 25% of Americans at high risk of severe illness and by 60% of Americans aged 65 and older.
  • Hepatitis B vaccinations were completed by 32% of high-risk U.S. adults under age 50 and for 34% of non-high-risk adults under age 50.
  • HPV vaccinations have been given to only 10.5% of American women 19-26 — and only 6% got all three shots.
  • Tetanus shots are current for only 60% of U.S. adults under age 65 and only 52% for older adults.
  • Flu shots are taken by fewer than two-thirds of adults at high risk of severe flu complications.
  • Shingles vaccines are taken by only 7% of U.S. adults 60 and older. 
  • So, that begs the question of whether consumers should be responsible for costs if they don’t take preventative measures.  I’m sure there are lots of reasons why they shouldn’t be, but let’s assume that the cost of vaccines were covered AND that their healthplan communicated to them the need to go get vaccinated.  In that case, if someone doesn’t get vaccinated, becomes sick, and causes thousands of dollars in cost to be incurred (which all of us pay for), is that ok?

    I have no problem bearing costs for people who are uninsured and support universal coverage.  I have no issue paying more if I can’t control my weight or chose to make bad decisions.  I see healthcare as covering things that I can’t prevent – accidents, genomics, etc.

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