Living healthier all year long—immunizations for adults
We all know how important vaccines are for kids, but did you know we still need vaccines as adults? It is even more important if you are around kids/grandkids, have a chronic disease, or are around people who are vulnerable to disease, such as diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or people whose immune systems are weak.
Here are key vaccines you should be getting:
Flu: Generally flu season is October through May. Getting a yearly flu shot can help you avoid getting the flu, or if you do get it, you may have a milder case. A study on kids in 2017 showed that flu vaccine reduced a child’s risk of dying from the flu!
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu shot for everyone ages 6 months and older.
Tdap (Tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis): CDC recommends all adults get the Tdap vaccine once and a tetanus/diptheria booster every 10 years.
Shingles: Vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication from shingles. CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix separated by 2 to 6 months to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.
Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. Two doses of Shringrix is more than 90 percent effective at preventing Shingles and PHN. Protection stays about 85 percent for at least the first four years after you get vaccinated. Shringrix is the preferred vaccine, over Zostavax, a shingles vaccine in use since 2006. Zostavax may still be used to prevent shingles in healthy people age 60 and older. For example, Zostavax is used if a person is allergic to Shingrix, prefers Zostavax, or requests immediate vaccination and Shringrix is unavailable.
You should get Shringrix even if in the past you had Shingles, received Zostavax, or are not sure if you had chickenpox.
Pneumonia: CDC recommends all adults over 65 get two pneumonia vaccines, and it may be recommended earlier if you have certain chronic diseases like diabetes.
Please talk to your doctor or health care team about you and your family’s specific needs. Check out the self-quiz from the CDC here.
(From CDC website 2018, www.cdc.gov/)