Report: Many adults dies without routine vaccinations

February 4, 2010 1:49:14 PM PST
A new report finds tens of thousands of adults die every year because they are not getting routine vaccinations.

The surprising part of this report is that more than 50,000 of those annual deaths are in adults, not children.

The report shows only 36 percent of adults get their annual flu shots and only one-third are vaccinated against pneumonia. Only 2 percent got vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.

Adult vaccination rates are particularly low for minority groups.

Part of the problem is that many adults do not see a doctor regularly and may not realize the shots are recommended. Others lack health insurance to pay for the vaccines.

The report was released in part by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.