If the last time you had a shot was when you were a kid, you're not alone. According to a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccination coverage levels for U.S. adults are "unacceptably low."
While the rates of some vaccines--like the one for Human Papillomavirus (HPV)--are up, only 12.5 percent of adults received the Tdap vaccine, which is one of the most critical shots protecting against tetanus, diphtheria (an upper respiratory tract infection), and whooping cough, says Brent Rieger, M.D., internist at Loyola University Health System.
What's going on? "People between the ages of 20 to 50 just don't go to their doctors other than when they're sick," says Dr. Rieger. In 2011, 26 percent of men ages 18 and up did not visit the doctor, even though at least a single visit is recommended, found the 2011 National Health Interview Survey.
What's more: People are confused about what shots to get, and doctors don't bring it up when you come in for things like the cold and flu. It's time to make sure you're up to date. Here are eight of the most important vaccines you need, according to the CDC and the Mayo Clinic.