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Vaccines for Adults: Think ahead and prevent disease

09/19/2016 10:39AM ● Published by Jennifer Gonzalez

By: Jennifer Serda 

The debate over childhood vaccinations is a hot issue, but vaccines aren’t just for kids. As we get older, our immune system can get weaker. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccines for all adults—and they’re not just talking about the flu shot! Here are several vaccines you should know about that could potentially protect you and your family.  

We all know about the flu shot, but in addition to the influenza vaccine, the CDC recommends all adults get their Td vaccine every 10 years to protect against tetanus. They also recommend all adults get their Tdap to protect against whooping cough. Tdap is especially important to protect yourself from spreading the disease to younger members of your family. Infants have the greatest risk for contracting this serious disease.  

While these three vaccines are recommended for all adults, other vaccines are based on lifestyle factors, like your age, job and health condition. For those 60 and over, the CDC recommends the shingles and pneumococcal vaccines. The shingles vaccine can protect the elderly from this painful rash that affects an estimated 1 million Americans every year. About half of them are 60 years or older! Meanwhile, the pneumococcal vaccine can protect the elderly from many types of illnesses, including ear infections and meningitis. 

If you never contracted the measles, mumps, rubella or chickenpox as a child, the CDC strongly suggests getting vaccinated for them as an adult, unless your healthcare professional suggests otherwise. Chickenpox, as we know, is typically seen in children, but adults can contract this infection, too, and the symptoms tend to be even worse. The CDC recommends getting the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine until the age of 59 and chickenpox or varicella vaccine throughout life.  

You can learn more about recommended vaccines by visiting the Center for Disease Control website or speaking with your healthcare provider. This extra step of precaution will help adults from getting and spreading diseases to those we love. 



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