We Are Our Own Death Panel

With all the ranting about death panels and government control over our healthcare decisions, you would think that all of us would want to do all they could to prevent disease, especially when it’s easy to do and free! I’m talking about getting the recommended vaccinations we need to stay healthy.

In today’s LA Times , there is a report that shows we still don’t get the importance of vaccinations! While the rates of adult immunization have inched up in recent years, folks aren’t getting vaccines that can markedly increase health, reduce healthcare costs, and prevent premature disease. We’re talking about vaccines against shingles, pneumonia, cancer and hepatitis.

Only a third of all people over the age of 18 got a flu shot last year, for example, despite the CDC’s recommendation that everyone older than 6 months receive it.  Likewise, only 17% of women ages 19 to 26 (actually, vaccination is recommended for girls beginning at 11 to 12 years old) had gotten even one of the three doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer. This is hard to rationalize, after all, it’s the first vaccine that prevents cancer. I know in Texas, when Governor Perry recommended that teenagers be required to get the HPV vaccine before they can register for school, there was a public outcry that it would lead to promiscuous behavior, that he had to drop the recommendation! It prevents cancer folks! Parents, can’t you educate your children about the dangers of unprotected sex? Furthermore, we vaccinate our children against hepatitis B; another virus which is sexually transmitted. So, are the kids having more sex because of it? I doubt it. Parents, start parenting!!

Sorry about the rant. I’ve spoken often about the importance of seniors being vaccinated against flu and pneumonia. We’ve discussed that cost should not be an issue given that vaccinations are now covered in their entirety thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACT). However, there are still many seniors (some reports say 30%) for whatever reason who do not get the shots. This is remarkable because these vaccinations are proven safe ways of improving your overall health and life expectancy.

If you really want to do something good for yourself and your loved ones get these recommended vaccinations. Get smart, be informed and get the right care!

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