Do You Need a Vaccine?
Every fall, you probably hear a lot about flu shots. But, have you thought about other vaccines you might need? Some childhood vaccinations last your whole life, while others need periodic boosters to keep them working.
Remember, vaccinations help protect against preventable diseases and guard against a number of health complications. So, it’s important that you know how to keep your vaccines and immunizations up to date.
Who should get a flu shot?
All adults should receive a seasonal flu vaccine. The flu vaccine helps your body build up antibodies to protect against the ever-changing influenza virus. That’s why it’s important to receive vaccinations each year.
Flu shots are especially important for older adults or people who work in schools, healthcare facilities or any workplace where you come into close contact with many people.
What do I need to know about whooping cough?
It doesn’t get talked about as much as flu shots, but Tdap is another vital vaccination. Tdap is a combination vaccine that protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis). You may have received this shot as an adolescent; if not, you will need to receive a whooping cough vaccination.
Once you’ve gotten a Tdap vaccine, tetanus/diphtheria boosters will be needed every 10 years. Talk to your primary care doctor about maintaining your booster schedule.
Other important adult vaccines
While adults should continue to get the vaccinations listed above for their entire lives, our bodies need extra attention as we age. Adults over the age of 60 should add a couple vaccinations to their schedule:
- Shingles vaccine
- Pneumococcal disease vaccinations.
You may also want to talk to your doctor about the following situational vaccinations:
- Meningococcal disease
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella)
Your doctor can help you determine if you need these vaccines based on your health, lifestyle or travel plans.
When should I delay my vaccines?
So, you know vaccines are important. However, there are special circumstances in which you might want to delay getting your shots:
- If you’re a woman who is nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant
- If you have allergies
- If you are experiencing nausea or diarrhea
Talk to your doctor about the right time to get the vaccinations you need.
How can I manage my immunizations?
Keeping up to date on your immunizations may seem like a lot of work, but MyChart makes it easy. View your immunization records and send your doctor’s office a message if you have questions about additional vaccines you may need.
Don’t have MyChart? Sign up here.