We think of vaccinations are part of a child’s routine medical care, but they can be important for adults as well. While there are many myths and some controversy surrounding vaccinations, the bottom line is that they will protect you from certain serious, and even deadly, diseases.
Adult Vaccinations You May Need
- Flu Shot
- Hepatitis A and B
Are you fully protected? Check this list of vaccinations you may need as an adult.
The Flu Shot
Almost everyone knows about the flu shot, but there is a great deal of misinformation that causes many people to turn away from it.
Having the flu is usually just a temporary inconvenience, but every year there are flu-related fatalities.
An annual flu shot is recommended for everyone, but it is especially important for those who are in contact with people at greater risk of being harmed by the flu. This includes infants, the elderly and people with chronic disease.
This vaccine can prevent certain types of pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccine and one is routinely given to young children.
If you are over the age of 64, the CBC recommends that you get both types of this vaccine. This is to prevent pneumonia, which can be very serious for the elderly. The vaccinations are also recommended for people under the age of 65 who have certain health conditions that make pneumonia especially dangerous for them.
Also known as a tetanus shot provides protection from tetanus, pertussis and diphtheria. Most people get this vaccination as children, but it doesn’t last your whole life. You will need a series of boosters to keep yourself safe, even as an adult.
Adults who have had the Dtap vaccine should get a booster every 10 years.
Hepatitis A and B
This vaccine will protect you from these diseases that can attack and destroy your liver. Some people are more at risk of contracting these diseases than others, so the vaccine is recommended especially to them.
See also: Houston Flu Season: Things to Know.
This includes people who travel to places like Asia and Africa, people who use illegal and drugs and people with certain other diseases that put them at risk.
If you were born after 1995, you probably had the chickenpox vaccine. If you were born before that time, it is likely that you had the chickenpox and are now immune.
However, if you never got the vaccine and have never had chickenpox, it’s a good idea to get vaccinated because it is very easy to contract. Having chickenpox can be much harder on adults than it is on children, and it is a disease you will want to avoid.
This vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella. You probably got this vaccination as a child, but many people should be vaccinated again.
Many people are not adequately protected against these diseases, and more and more people are being diagnosed with measles. Review your medical history with your doctor to determine if you should have an MMR vaccination.
Shingles comes from the same virus as chickenpox and causes a painful rash on your skin. You can still get shingles even if you are immune to chickenpox.
The vaccination is available to and recommended for people over the age of 60.
This vaccination protects you from HPV, or human papillomavirus, which is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to certain types of cancer, especially in women.
The HPV vaccine is only given to young people, usually around the age of 12 or 13. However, women under the age of 26 can get the vaccination as well. This significantly reduces your chances of developing cervical and some other kinds of cancer.
Even as an adult, vaccinations can play a major role in keeping you healthy. They can also prevent serious illnesses that could ultimately be fatal.
Talk to your doctor about which vaccinations you have had and which you should consider and be aware of recommendations that change as you get older or develop certain conditions or diseases.
You can take responsibility for your own health and knowing which vaccinations you may need is a good way to start.