The Importance of Getting Vaccinated as Adults

 

Summit Medical Group continues to recognize National Immunization Month by providing information and resources about the importance of vaccinations at every age level and stage of life. Last week we discussed vaccinating children and provided several resources for parents and caregivers to ensure timely vaccinations for children from birth through age 18. This week, we are focusing on the importance of continuing to receive vaccinations as adults.

Many of us may not realize that we need vaccines throughout our lives. Adults need to keep their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. Adults are also at risk for different diseases. Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available.

For starters, all adults need:

    •  Influenza (flu) vaccine every yea. (For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/index.html)

    •  Td (Tetanus and Diphtheria) or Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) vaccine every 10 years or after a severe or dirty wound/burn. (For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/td.html)

Adults also need other vaccines based on age, health conditions, job, lifestyle, or travel habits. It is important to talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you, as some adults with specific health conditions should not get certain vaccines or should wait to get them. Learn more about what other vaccines may be recommended for you by visiting this link: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/index.html.

 

You have the power to protect against vaccine-preventable diseases

Remember - vaccines aren’t just for kids. Adults may need vaccines to protect against whooping cough, flu, pneumonia, and shingles. Ask your doctor about vaccines you may need for your age, health conditions, job, or lifestyle.

 

Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious diseases.

Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses to help safely develop protection from diseases. They are tested before licensing and carefully monitored afterwards to ensure their safety. Learn more about the safeguards that ensure the vaccines we need are safe here: https://www.cdc.gov/patientsafety/features/vaccine-safety.html. Like all medical products, vaccines can cause side effects. However, the most common side effects are mild and go away quickly.

 

Vaccine-preventable diseases are still a threat. Vaccination is the best protection.

While many serious diseases are no longer common in the United States thanks to vaccines, these diseases still exist and can spread when people aren’t vaccinated. Every year thousands of adults in the U.S. become seriously ill and are hospitalized because of diseases that vaccines can help prevent. Many adults even die from these diseases.

Even if you received the vaccines you needed as a child, the protection from some vaccines can wear off. You may also be at risk for other diseases due to your job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. By getting vaccinated, you can help protect yourself and your family from serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

 

Work with your doctor or nurse to stay up to date on recommended vaccines.

It is especially important for patients with chronic health conditions to be up to date on recommended vaccinations, since they are at increased risk for complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure you haven’t missed any recommended vaccines. You can also use the CDC's Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool to see which vaccines might be recommended for your age, health conditions, job, or lifestyle.

You can complete the assessment here: https://www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched/.