Featured Article: Vaccines Are Not Just For Kids
Just like little ones, adults require ongoing preventive medicine to maintain good health.
While preventing certain communicable diseases in children remains the focus of most immunization strategies, adults too have ongoing risks that can be reduced or eliminated by the administration of vaccines.
As we age, the risk of serious complications from pneumonia and other conditions actually increases the number of preventable diseases for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends immunization.
Here are some helpful tips regarding ongoing preventive medicine for adults.
Td or Tdap
All adults should receive either a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine or the Tdap with added immunity against whooping cough (pertussis). If you have never had a Tdap, you should receive it once and then the Td as a booster every ten years. In the event of a whooping cough epidemic, the local health department may recommend repeating the Tdap as well, primarily to protect the children of the community for whom this condition may be fatal.
All adults should receive an annual influenza vaccination by injection or by nasal administration. The flu virus mutates continually, so having received a vaccination the previous season does not ensure you are protected this year. See our community flu and pneumonia shot schedule.
Some vaccinations are recommended only for people with certain conditions. For example, the vaccine for pneumonia should be reserved for those with diabetes, heart or lung disease, and those over age 65.
Men and women should be immunized with three doses of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine before age 26 to reduce the occurrence of cervical cancer.
Other conditions for which vaccinations are available for specific populations include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
- Bacterial meningitis caused by meningococcus
- Varicella (chicken pox)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) — a common bacterial infection in children
Finally, adults traveling to locations where certain conditions are common should consult a travel medicine specialist for specific recommendations depending on the destination, time of year, and any ongoing epidemic or endemic illness in that area of the world. For more information, visit Renown Medical Group - Travel Vaccine Program.
Renown Network Services has you covered if you're interested in receiving an immunization. If you'd like to learn more about our primary care physicians and the services they provide, request an appointment.