Adults Should Keep Up with Their Vaccinations, Too
Your kids may be up on their vaccines, but what about you?
“Vaccinations are important for adults as well as children, especially if you have any kind of medical condition or illness such as diabetes, COPD, asthma, or if you have an immune system that’s weakened,” said
Dr. Ted Louie, an infectious disease expert with the Medical Society of New Jersey, affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Highland Park Medical.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just released new recommendations designed for adults.
So who should get which vaccine?
Louie stresses all adults should be immunized against influenza.
“The flu vaccine is actually recommended for everyone. However, there are high risk groups that are at higher risk of getting complications, including pregnant women, those over the age of 65, or adults with other conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions,” he said.
Louie said other vaccines may or may not be right for you.
“If you were born before 1957, you were probably exposed to measles, so you don’t need that vaccine,” he said
He pointed out, however, most adults do need a tetanus vaccine.
“You’re supposed to get a booster every 10 years. Tetanus is a disease which you can get, for example, if you'd step on a rusty nail.”
“Nowadays, we have a tetanus shot for adults, which is also diphtheria and pertussis, so it’s a three-in-one. It’s similar to what kids get, but it’s for adults.”
He noted this vaccine is important because there is an increasing number of pertussis cases, or whooping cough, in the United States.
Also, “certain people will need, for example, MMR — the measles, mumps rubella — certain people might need tetanus.”
He pointed out another important vaccine that adults should consider is the pneumonia vaccine, because pneumonia can be a very serious problem for anyone with a lung disease or a compromised immune system.
Louie said in some cases a doctor may want to do a blood test, but in other cases they’re able to figure out a course of action from talking with the patient.
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