The Crucial Factor In Preventing Infection
Thanks to vaccines, there has been a significant decline in the prevalence of infectious diseases in the US. Getting all the recommended immunizations is the number one most important factor in protecting people from preventable diseases. Many vaccinations are given during childhood. But which ones need booster shots? What do adults need to know?
The one you need yearly
One of the most well-known vaccinations is the annual flu shot. The vaccine is updated every year to account for new strains of the influenza virus. Getting the shot every year decreases a person’s chances of getting the flu by 40-60%. And getting the shot doesn’t just protect that person, but also helps prevent the spread of the flu to others. Every year, the flu vaccine prevents an estimated 6.2 million cases of infection.
Check in every 10 years
The Tdap vaccine is a typical vaccination for children that protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, or whooping cough. As people get older, the Td booster is a shot that provides continued protection against tetanus and diphtheria. This immunization needs to be given once every 10 years.
Some vaccinations are explicitly made for adults and are given in multiple doses. For example, the protection for hepatitis A and B is given in 3 doses and is recommended for anyone 18 and over who is at risk for these infections. The zoster vaccine live, or shingles vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of 50. The immunization is given in two doses over 2-6 months. The shot has been shown to protect adults for up to 5 years, so a booster may be needed.
What other vaccines do I need?
Some people may need additional vaccines, depending on risk factors or travel plans. For example, other standard vaccinations include those for human papillomavirus (HPV), chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella. If a person has plans to travel to some regions of the world, specific vaccines can protect against diseases that are rare in the United States, such as yellow fever.
Debunking vaccine myths
Some people have confusion about the side effects of vaccines. Soreness at the injection site or mild sore throat, for example, are common in the first few days after a vaccine. These side effects do not indicate illness, but rather are the body’s response to producing new antibodies to fight against infection. Getting vaccinations is one of the safest, most effective ways to protect ongoing health. For more information about specific vaccination recommendations, speak with a healthcare provider.