Lifewatch: Adult Vaccinations

WILMINGTON -- A lot of people suffer through the seasonal sniffles, and some get very sick from illnesses that are completely preventable.

Up to 5,000 Americans die every year from diseases their bodies could have fought if they were vaccinated, and most adults have no idea they even need them.

Patient George Sorenson's relatives have had shingles, a painful disease.  To avoid getting shingles himself, Sorenson got a vaccine.

And while Kortney Manwaring knows all about shots for her daughter Kaylee, she had no idea she needed them too.

Doctor Karen Lewis loves vaccines so much, she even rhymes them in a book.  She believes it's better to prevent disease, and then try to cure it.

"It's hard for adults to stay up to date on what vaccines they have," said Lewis.

According to a survey by the National Foundation for infectious diseases, adults don't know they even shots.

Experts said more of us need protection, and that flu and tetanus shots are important, as well as whooping cough boosters.

Young adults should consider the meningitis vaccine and Gardisil to prevent HPV.

Older adults should remember Zostavax for shingles and Pneumovax for pneumonia.

International travelers should plan ahead, since vaccine shortages can happen, but some protection is better than none.

"I think it's very, very important and I definitely am wanting to stay on top of that now especially going through what I went through," said Manwaring.

Check with your insurance company to see if it will cover some of these vaccinations.  Some work places offer flu shots for free.

Reported by Kristy Ondo