Most people are familiar with vaccinations for children, but many are not aware of the need for vaccinations as adults. According to the VA Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Center, more than 46,000 adults become ill or die each year from vaccine preventable diseases. Vaccines not only protect you from getting a disease, they also protect those around you so the disease doesn’t spread.
Booster vaccines are important because some vaccines become less effective over time. It is important to work with your health care provider to stay up-to-date with vaccines. In part, because as people grow older they can become more susceptible to diseases.
Vaccines work by getting the body prepared to fight disease. Each contains either a dead germ or a weakened germ (or parts thereof) that causes a specific condition.
The body practices fighting the disease by making antibodies that recognize specific parts of that germ. This permanent or longstanding response means that if someone is ever exposed to the actual disease, the antibodies are already in place and the body knows how to combat it and the person doesn’t get sick. This is called immunity.
Most diseases that can be prevented through vaccines still exist in the world, even in the United States, though very rarely occur.
Important Reasons For Vaccinations
Following are few important reasons for immunization:
- Immunizations can save lives because of advance in medical science.
- It is not only very safe but also very effective.
- Immunization protects your loving ones.
- Immunization protects future generations.
- Immunizations can save your family time and money by getting vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases, thus avoiding prolonged disabilities and financial toll.
CDC Vaccinations Recommendations For Adults
Get a flu shot every year starting at age 19; or before if you have a chronic disease or are in another high risk group. Between the ages of 18 to 49, you may be able to use the Influenza FluMist Nasal Spray.
All adults should get a booster dose of tetanus/diphtheria (Td) or tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (whooping cough) (Tdap) every 10 years.
Everyone should get the pneumonia vaccine at least once at age 65. If you have a chronic disease or a weakened immune system, you should get the vaccine once or twice before age 65.
Meningococcal vaccine is approved for people ages 11 to 55, and should be given to adults with certain conditions related to their health, job or lifestyle that put them at higher risk.
Measles, Mumps And Rubella
The vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella should be given at least once from ages 19 to 49, and another after age 55.
Chicken pox (Varicella) is one of the vaccines that was not available when many of us were younger and every adult should be vaccinated if there is no evidence of immunity. The shingles vaccine (Zoster) is recommended for all adults at age 60 or older; physicians can also prescribe it for people 50 to 59 if indicated.
There are no recommendations for the vaccine for polio virus if you were vaccinated as a child except for people traveling in high risk areas of the world.
Human papilloma virus vaccine is recommended for women between the ages of 19 to 26. And for men between the ages of 19 to 21. It is recommended for adults between the ages of 22 to 26 with certain risks related to their health, job or lifestyle.