Why vaccination of adults can help prevent chronic diseases
Vaccination of adults can help prevent serious, life threatening diseases.
Some vaccinations are specifically recommended for older adults, high-risk individuals, those in certain occupations, or those with medical conditions that make them more likely to get infections.
Influenza “flu” vaccine
Influenza is a very contagious disease, causing mild cold-like illness to serious illnesses and complications that can cause death.
The influenza or “flu” vaccine is given in early fall, just before the influenza season begins.
The virus used in the vaccine is killed, or inactivated, so it cannot infect you.
There is an injectable vaccine and a nasal spray (FluMist). It is for anyone who wants protection from the flu.
The influenza vaccine is highly recommended every year if you are 50 years or older, if you are a health are worker, if you live with a person at high risk, or at any age if you have any of the following conditions:
*A weekend immune system
*Pregnancy during the flu season.
You must be immunized each season because the virus that causes the disease and the vaccination changes from year to year.
The pneumococcal vaccination helps prevent complications from infection by a bacterium called streptococcus pneumonia. These bacteria are a common cause of lung infection as well as other serious infections because these bacteria are becoming more resistant to antibodies and more difficult to treat, it is important to get immunized if you are at risk.
All healthy adults age 65 or older should receive this vaccination. Those with any of the following conditions should also be immunized as recommended by a health care provider:
•Removal of spleen
•A weakened immune system
Tetanus-diphtheria (Td) and Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap)
Bacteria cause tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Tetanus enters the body through a break in the skin, such as a scratch, cut or puncture would Diphtheria and whooping cough can be spread from person to person.
If you have never been immunized against tetanus-diphtheria (Td), you should receive a primary series of three injections. You will then need a booster does of the vaccine (Td) every 10 years throughout life.
The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough in adults and teens. A one-time Tdap booster is recommended for adults and teens to boost immunity against whooping cough, as well as tetanus and diphtheria.
Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis B is a virus that causes serious live infection that can lead to long-lasting (chronic) liver disease. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in a series of three injections. The following high-risk individuals should be immunized:
*Health care workers
*People with hemophilia
*People on hemodialysis
*Anyone with liver disease
*Frequent international travelers
*People who use injectable street drugs and their partners
*People who have had more than one sexual partner
*Sexual partners of those with known hepatitis B or at risk of exposure
Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
The same virus that causes chickenpox causes shingles. It results in a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. Shingles is often followed by a period of long lasting (chronic) pain. Only people who have had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine can get shingles. People 60 years and older should get a shingle vaccination. (Zostavax). It is a live vaccination and so is not recommended for people with a weakened immune system. It is given as a one-time dose.
Many other infections can be prevented with proper vaccination, these inflections include:
•Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for young women
For some high-risk individuals, a health care provider may recommend more vaccinations.
Before international travel, visit a health care provider experienced in travel medicine well in advance (usually four or more weeks) of any planned travel to determine your vaccination needs. This service is provided at the Mayo Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic. You may also contact your health care provider, or your local or state health care provider, or your local or state health department.
How do I know what I need?
Review your vaccination records and then talk with your health care provider about additional vaccinations you may need. Keep your vaccination records safe and take them with you to medical appointments.
What if I have had a reaction to a vaccine in the past?
Most people can receive the vaccine following an evaluation and testing by a health care provider who specializes in allergic reactions (allergist).
Where can I get vaccination?
Routine vaccinations are available from your health care provider or at the Mayo Adult Immunization Clinic.
Certain travel-related vaccinations are available through the Mayo Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic or other approved travel clinics.
Talk with your health care provider before getting a vaccination.
Vaccinations may not be covered by your medical insurance.
Culled from Mayo Clinic Patient Education material titled “Vaccinations for Your Adult Life.”