Getting vaccinated isn’t just for kids

When was the last time you received a vaccine booster shot? If it was ten years ago or more, you are well overdue! Many people neglect or don’t realize the fact that regular vaccinations are just as important to adults as they are to children.

Though physicians typically advocate vaccinations for children, sometimes this encouragement and reminder gets lost beyond pediatric care. There are several conditions that adults are susceptible, just as children are, and it is important to maintain lifelong protection against them.

Getting vaccinated regularly is also vital because the effects of some vaccines wear off over time and because it can protect you against dangerous and painful symptoms in the current state of your life and as you age.

If you are still questioning or wondering which vaccines are right for you, here are a few to consider:

  • Flu shot– getting a seasonal flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and others from contracting the seasonal illness. If you’ve ever had the flu, you know how valuable this vaccine can be.
  • Tdap– the Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough, all of which can be lethal if left untreated. Neglecting diphtheria can cause breathing issues and heart complications, tetanus can cause lockjaw if left untreated and pertussis can lead to severe coughing spasms and seizures or worse.
  • Shingles and Pneumonia– if you are 60 or older, it is wise to protect yourself against these diseases. You become increasingly susceptible to them with age and they can eventually lead to symptoms including rashes, severe pain and even death.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – there are 100 different types of HPV that can affect different parts of the body. Its largest effects are concentrated to reproductive issues, although it can also lead to serious cancers and other dangerous conditions.
  • Hepatitis A and/or B– these viral infections can wreak havoc on your body if left unvaccinated. Hepatitis A attacks the liver while Hepatitis B is a more chronic condition causing issues in both the liver and often spreading to other organs.

If you’re not sure what vaccines are best for you or you have further questions, be sure to consult with your physician prior to receiving any shots. For a preliminary overview, take the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ online quiz to preface your expectations. Print the quiz’s results and bring them to your doctor as well.

Photo credit: Rene Najera

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