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Doctors see decrease in adults getting non-COVID vaccines during pandemic

While we're talking about coronavirus vaccines right now, doctors emphasize other vaccines are important.

TAMPA, Fla — We are talking a lot about the COVID vaccine, but adult vaccinations are really important. And what doctors are seeing a huge decrease in the number of people getting them. That can leave older adults vulnerable to preventable illnesses. 

Dr. LaTasha Perkins says people may be skipping these vaccines because they're concerned about safety and exposure to COVID-19 at their doctors' offices. But she says there are plenty of precautions in place to keep you safe. 

Dr. Perkins says about 50,000 Americans die of vaccine-preventable diseases every year, which is why vaccines for shingles, whooping cough, pneumonia and the flu are important.

"When when we don't get the vaccines and get the infections, we do worse," Dr. Perkins said. "We get illnesses that are chronic that hang around, we get hospitalized and again, we don't get back to our baseline or we could even die. I know that that sounds harsh, but that's the truth."

If you're concerned, call your doctor and have the conversation about it with them. Your age, lifestyle and medical issues also play a role in the importance of the vaccines. You can also read more here.

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