Do you think that adults don’t need vaccinations? A significant number of adults believe it. As a result, they are not current on immunizations that can help protect their health and prevent serious illnesses.
Vaccinations are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, travel destinations, medical conditions and vaccines received in the past.
Dr. Steven Meixler, medical director, Westmed Medical Group, says, “Your vaccination schedule does not end when you ‘graduate’ from the pediatrician’s office. Continuing with routine vaccinations as an adult will not only prevent you from getting serious or life threatening infections, but will also help to protect the people around you. Depending on your age and other risk factors adults should have pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, shingles, human papillomavirus and hepatitis vaccines. And all adults should get the flu vaccine every year. I encourage everyone to review their vaccination schedule at their next visit.”
Among those 65 years and older, the risk of contracting potentially life-threatening respiratory infections, such as influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia, increases as you age and your immune system naturally weakens. Adults with chronic conditions, such as asthma and COPD are at even greater risk, as are adults who smoke.
To find out specifically what vaccinations are recommended for you, you can take the CDC’s Adult Vaccine Quiz by going to the CDC’s website. Then bring the customized printout to discuss with your doctor at your next healthcare encounter.
The Safety of Vaccines
Vaccines are very safe. They are thoroughly tested before licensing and carefully monitored even after they are licensed to ensure that they are very safe. Side effects from vaccines are usually mild and temporary. Some people may have allergic reactions to certain vaccines, but serious and long-term side effects are rare.