August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and McFarland Clinic wants to share information about vaccines for people of all ages. This post will share the importance of vaccines for adults.
People of all ages are susceptible to becoming ill and passing diseases to others, including healthy adults. Vaccinations are important not only because they protect the person getting them, but to reduce the chance of spreading diseases to vulnerable communities including infants, young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
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All adults should get an influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Some people are at high risk of serious flu complications and it is especially important these people get vaccinated. This includes older adults (65 and older), children younger than 5, pregnant women and people with certain long-term medical conditions like asthma, heart disease and diabetes.
Every adult should get one dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) if they did not get Tdap as a teen, and then receive a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine every 10 years. Women should get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, preferably during their third trimesters (between 27 through 36 weeks of their pregnancy).
Adults 50 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. Adults 65 and older are also recommended to receive both pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations.
Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV) depending on their age, occupation, travel, medical conditions, vaccinations they have already received or other considerations.