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Not Just for Kids: Adults Need Vaccinations Too

Not Just for Kids: Adults Need Vaccinations Too

vaccinesWhen we think vaccinations, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is either chubby little babies or kindergarteners excited for school. Little do most people know that adults need vaccinations too.

Why Vaccines Matter.

The most important reason adults need to keep up to date on their vaccines is to protect themselves and their families against illness.The use of vaccines prevent many very serious diseases. Some of the illnesses include:

Pneumonia-which is dangerous to older adults

Influenza-which kills thousands of people every year

Shingles-which can be very painful disease

Which Shots Do You Need?

First of all, every adult should get the influenza vaccine every year. Flu viruses adapt quickly and change every year. The previous year’s vaccine might not protect against new strains.

Other shots may be required because of waning immunity. Adults need vaccines because the effective of childhood shots can fade. Booster shots given after the initial vaccine provide continued protection. Adults need tetanus and diphtheria booster shots every 10 years. A one time booster for whooping cough is also recommended is often given with the tetanus and diphtheria vaccines.

What If You Missed Childhood Vaccines?

Some adults never received certain vaccines in childhood and need them now. One of the newer vaccines on the market, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, received approval by the FDA just a decade ago. The  CDC recommends females up to age 26 and males up to age 21 should receive this vaccine. Young adults who didn’t get the vaccine as adolescents should receive it before they reach those ages.

HPV is a very common virus and can sometimes cause certain cancers and other diseases.

HPV infection can cause:

  • cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in women;
  • cancers of the penis in men; and
  • cancers of the anus and back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils in both women and men.

What About Senior Citizens?

Besides the annual vaccines everyone needs like the influenza vaccine, seniors over the age of 60 have specific vaccine needs. People older than 60 should get the shingles vaccine because the risk of contracting the painful skin rash grows as you age.

Shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. If you have had the chickenpox, the inactive virus is present in your body, but it can reactivate and cause the shingles.

Beginning at age 65, people should receive pneumococcal vaccines to protect against pneumonia and meningitis. These illnesses can be life threatening for older adults.

Are you up to date on your vaccinations? If you’re not sure, give us a call at 662-282-4226 and schedule an appointment.

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