Adult vaccines cut down on healthcare costs

Keeping up-to-date with adult vaccines can cut down on future healthcare costs, according to a report published by the AP. But there are several factors standing in the way of regular immunizations. Many doctors don't check their patients' immunization records or urge them to receive shots they've missed, and oftentimes primary care physicians don't stock the vaccines adults need. Patients may need to pay out of pocket for certain vaccines that aren't covered by their insurance plans, which further deters them from keeping up with their immunization schedule.

Regular flu and tetanus shots are recommended for all adults. Other vaccines are recommended for older adults and those with certain conditions. Chicken pox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, HPV, measles/mumps/rubella, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease and shingles are the eight vaccines that public health experts say certain adults should receive.

The AP notes that it's difficult to quantify exactly how much healthcare savings vaccines generate. But the news outlet uses the example of shingles, which can cost $5,000 to treat and up to $20,000 more if hospitalization is required. The cost for a preventative vaccine? Just $162.

- read the AP story