Others also are pushing boosters to continue to cut down on the illness and related deaths, including insurers. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, for example, makes sure doctors know that boosters are recommended for adolescents and adults, said Dr. Daniel Winn, the insurer's senior medical director.
"Rates of vaccination for older people, those over 50, are abysmal," he said. "That means the herd immunity is much less because not enough people are vaccinated."
Winn recommended that people ask their doctors about vaccinations in general because sometimes when other medical issues are more pressing such preventive steps can be forgotten.
He said swine flu and West Nile virus also are becoming problems in other states and people should be taking precautions. All recent cases of swine flu nationally appear to have come from contact with pigs, and at the upcoming Maryland state fair, Winn said, children should wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their faces.
Maryland recently recorded its first West Nile Virus case, and officials are recommending people avoid areas of high mosquito activity and outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. They also say wear long-sleeved pants and shirts and hat and use insect repellent.
"There are simple things you can do to protect yourself," Winn said.
•20,469 cases reported in the United States through July 2012, up from 8,846 in 2011
•125 cases were reported in Maryland through July 2012, up from 56 cases in 2011