Why Do Adults Need To Get Vaccinated?

Vaccinations are not just for children. Throughout life, adults will need to get vaccinated for various diseases due to multiple reasons ranging from travel to health conditions. For example, certain countries require vaccinations before entering the country and require proof of vaccination upon entering the country. Another reason for getting vaccinated is pregnancy. Pregnant women are required to get certain vaccinations. What other immunizations do adults need?

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How do vaccines affect adults?

Vaccines enable the body to develop an immune response to certain diseases. Vaccines do this by forcing the body to develop T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and antibodies when a tiny amount of virus or bacteria is injected. This is part of the body’s natural defense system against disease and works to prevent future infection from the same virus or bacteria.

How will my body react to a vaccine?

Everybody’s body reacts differently to vaccinations. Common vaccine side effects include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Pain or swelling in the arm where the shot was given

Although uncomfortable, most of these reactions are normal and a sign that the body is developing an immune system response to the vaccine. However, if these side effects become severe, the patient should seek medical attention.

How are vaccines tested?

In the United States, vaccines must be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. After a company submits a vaccine to the FDA, the agency conducts testing and regulation on the vaccine to ensure safety and efficacy. Then, the vaccine goes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the final recommendation for use.

To test vaccines, the FDA conducts clinical trials on volunteers. These trials can go on for years before the vaccine is approved. The FDA also inspects the facilities where the vaccine is manufactured and stored.

What vaccines should I get?

Healthcare providers should provide patients with a vaccine information statement at the time of the vaccine. Common vaccines include:

  • Annual seasonal flu vaccine
  • Tdap
  • HPV
  • Meningitis
  • Shingles
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide
  • Pneumococcal conjugate
  • Hepatitis B
  • MMR
  • Chickenpox
  • Meningococcal

Often, the need for these vaccines depends on the patient’s age and occupation. Hepatitis B vaccines are recommended for healthcare workers, while patients over the age of 50 are encouraged to get the shingles vaccine.

What are booster shots?

Not all immunizations last forever, and over time the body’s defense system against disease naturally weakens. Booster shots help the body’s immunological memory to ward off disease. Booster shots are needed for these vaccines:

  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Polio
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow fever

What to know before getting your vaccine

Before receiving a vaccine, please consult with a healthcare provider. Healthcare providers will pull a patient’s medical records and evaluate the patient’s need for vaccinations. Healthcare providers can also educate patients about related side effects and answer any questions or concerns regarding the vaccination process. For more information, speak with a healthcare provider.

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