Approximately 50,000 adults die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. Pneumonia and influenza are the fifth leading cause of death in older adults in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.25 million people are infected with the hepatitis B virus, which attacks the liver and can cause liver cancer, liver failure, and death.
Some adults incorrectly assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives. Generally this is true, except that:
- Some adults were never vaccinated as children
- Newer vaccines were not available when some adults were children
- Immunity can begin to fade over time. As we age, we become more susceptible to serious disease caused by common infections (e.g., flu, pneumococcus)