Vaccinations Aren’t Just for Kids
Immunization is a safe, effective and simple way to prevent life-threatening illnesses - not only for infants and kids, but also for adults. In fact, adults in the United States have a far greater risk of dying from a vaccine-preventable disease than kids.
The good news is that immunizations can protect you. Which immunizations should you get? That depends on your age, your general health… even your lifestyle or profession can make a difference in which immunizations you need. That's why you should talk to your physician.
Your physician might recommend the following vaccinations:
Influenza (the flu): Every year a wave of influenza sweeps the nation. For healthy adults, it can mean days in bed with a fever and severe cough. But it can be life-threatening for people age 50 or older or those with chronic health conditions. For healthy adults, one vaccination every fall prevents the virus. For high-risk adults, it prevents complications.
COVID-19: Vaccination, including regular boosters, are now recommended for protection from the coronavirus, which causes a wide-range of symptoms including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.
Pneumococcal Infections (pneumonia): These infections of the lungs, blood-stream or brain are a significant cause of death each year in the United States.Talk to your doctor.
Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and Diphtheria: Adults need a one-dose "TDaP" booster every 10 years to protect themselves against these life-threatening infections. Not sure if you're due? Check with your doctor. It is recommended for anyone who works with children (including Sunday School), and all healthcare workers, EMS, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters and other public service positions.
Chicken Pox (Varicella): The recommendation is for people 13 years of age and older who have never had chickenpox or never received the chickenpox (Varicella) vaccine. Your doctor can advise you.
Measles, Mumps & Rubella: If you never had these diseases as a child, nor were immunized against them, talk with your doctor. They are highly contagious (can be caught just by talking with an infected person) and have serious complications for adults. One series of two shots protects you.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster): According to the CDC, about one in every three people in the U.S. will develop shingles, including a painful skin rash that usually appears on one side of the face or body. Shingles is more common in those over 50 years of age and in people with weakened immune systems. It is caused by a reactivation of the chicken pox virus - so it only occurs in someone who has had chicken pox or the chicken pox vaccine. About one person in five may have severe pain after the rash goes away called post-herpetic neuralgia. The vaccine is recommended for adults 50 years and older.
Hepatitis A: A one-time vaccination is recommended for every adult.
Hepatitis B: The CDC recommends all adults be tested for Hep B, regardless of vaccination status. Your provider may recommend repeating vaccines for protection from Hep B.
Travel immunizations:If you are planning international travel, be sure to ask your doctor if your destinations require immunizations for infectious diseases common to those areas.