Vaccines help protect you from serious and sometimes deadly diseases. They work by preparing your body in advance to recognize and fight the viruses, bacteria, or other organisms that cause these diseases. As you age, your risk of developing some vaccine-preventable diseases increases. This is because your immune system weakens with age, making it harder for your body to fight off infections. In addition, some health conditions that develop as you age can make you more susceptible to certain diseases.
For example, people with chronic medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease are at increased risk of developing complications from the flu. And people aged 65 years and older are at increased risk of developing complications from both the flu and pneumonia. Vaccines can help protect you from these and other diseases.
There are a number of vaccines that are recommended for adults, depending on your age, health conditions, job, lifestyle, and travel plans. Talk to your doctor or other healthcare professionals to learn which vaccines are right for you. Some of the most common vaccines recommended for adults include:
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is especially important for people at high risk of developing complications from the flu, including pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, and people 65 years of age and older.
Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine
Tdap is a booster vaccine that helps protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Tdap is recommended for all adults aged 19 years and older who have not previously received it.
HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine
HPV is a common virus that can cause certain types of cancer, including cervical, vaginal, and anal cancer in women, and penile cancer in men. The HPV vaccine is recommended for all adults aged 26 years and younger who have not previously been vaccinated.
MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
MMR is a combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. MMR is recommended for all adults born after 1957 who have not previously been vaccinated.
Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
Varicella is a virus that can cause chickenpox, a highly contagious disease that can be serious, especially in babies, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. The varicella vaccine is recommended for all adults aged 18 years and younger who have not previously been vaccinated.
Zoster (shingles) vaccine
Zoster is a virus that can cause shingles, a painful rash that can be debilitating. The zoster vaccine is recommended for all adults aged 60 years and older.
These are just some of the vaccines that may be recommended for adults. If you are not vaccinated, you are at risk of contracting a number of serious and sometimes deadly diseases. These include influenza, pneumonia, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and shingles.
In a nutshell, vaccines are safe and effective. They undergo rigorous testing before they are approved for use. And while there is always a small risk of side effects from any vaccine, the risks posed by the diseases themselves are far greater. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and get started on protecting your health!