Vaccines and Boosters Every Adult Should Have

Vaccines and boosters are a routine and vital part of health care for most children and teens in the United States. Dr. Ravinderjit Singh recommends adults also consider the many health benefits of vaccinations and boosters. Some are age-specific, such as the pneumonia vaccine, while others are recommended annually or as boosters that are timed according to your last vaccine. All are designed to prevent serious illnesses from disrupting your life.

Annual flu shot

Evidence continues to show that an annual flu shot can help prevent you from contracting and spreading influenza and its often-serious complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older obtain a flu shot before the start of flu season (late fall). This vaccine is especially important for young children, adults over 65, and any individual with diabetes, heart disease, or other immune-compromising conditions.

Pneumococcal vaccine

The pneumococcal vaccine protects against pneumonia, meningitis, and other serious infections that often lead to hospitalization and possibly death. If you’re over 65 or have asthma, COPD, diabetes, or other chronic medical conditions, you may be an excellent candidate for the protection provided by the pneumococcal vaccine. 

Tetanus booster

Some vaccines last a lifetime. Others such as tetanus require a periodic booster to maintain their effectiveness. In the case of tetanus, it’s recommended that you have a booster every 10 years to prevent this painful and potentially fatal condition.

Produced as a toxin via bacterial infection of an open wound, tetanus causes severe muscle contractions and difficulty breathing that can lead to death. Because treatment for tetanus is often ineffective, boosters should continue throughout adulthood.

Tdap

Dr. Singh may recommend you consider Tdap rather than a simple tetanus booster. The Tdap vaccine combines protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) in one vaccination.

Tdap is recommended for women with every pregnancy to protect both mother and infant from these debilitating and sometimes fatal infections. It’s also suggested that every adult receives at least one Tdap booster in their lifetime.

Whooping cough is a respiratory ailment that causes violent coughing, which makes it hard to breathe. It can be deadly for infants. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that causes a thick covering at the back of your throat that may lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, and even death in adults and children.

Preventing shingles

If you’ve had chickenpox in the past, the virus remains in your system and can reactivate as shingles in adulthood, which causes a painful rash. Once the rash resolves, many people experience ongoing and often severe nerve pain (neuralgia) in the region for months to years afterward. The vaccine can prevent shingles or at the very least decrease the severity of the outbreak and risk of developing ongoing nerve pain.

Hepatitis A and B vaccinations

Hepatitis A and B are caused by viruses that attack and inflame the liver. Hepatitis B can become a chronic infection that may lead to liver cancer and death. Vaccines are recommended for children, teens, and adults.

Protection when you travel

Check in with Dr. Singh when you’re planning on traveling. Some vaccines, such as hepatitis A, are often recommended as routine if you’re traveling to areas known for hepatitis A outbreaks. Sometimes it’s recommended you have a one-time polio booster to protect you during foreign travel.

It’s never too late to get vaccinated 

If you aren’t sure of your vaccination history, Dr. Singh can help determine your best course for getting up-to-date immunizations. Take advantage of the many health benefits of adult-specific vaccinations and boosters. 

Call the office for an appointment today, or book your visit online.  

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