Immunization Awareness

Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Did You Know? Adults age 65 and older need to get a shot to prevent pneumonia 

August is National Immunization Awareness Month!

During the past 50 years, immunizations have saved more than a billion lives and prevented countless illnesses and disabilities in the United States.

Most often when you think immunizations, it usually relates to children. However, vaccines are for all of us – from babies to older adults.  Efforts to vaccinate adults have not been nearly as successful as similar efforts to vaccinate children. While adults generally recognize the importance of childhood vaccination, often they don't keep up with their own recommended vaccines.

This resource is intended to help educate patients on the various stages of vaccination across a lifespan and the recommended vaccinations.  

01 | Infants and Children

Babies receive vaccinations that help protect them from 14 diseases by age 2. It includes diseases like measles and whopping cough. After age 2, children are still recommended to receive a yearly flu vaccine and will be due for additional vaccine doses between 4 and 6 years of age.

02 | Preteens and Teens

It is recommended that preteens and teens receive Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine, quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, and HPV vaccine to protect against serious diseases. These vaccines are recommended because preteens and teens are at greater risk for certain diseases like meningitis, septicemia (blood infection), and cancers caused by HPV infection. A yearly flu vaccine is also recommended.

03 | Pregnant Women

According to the CDC, vaccines are an important component of a healthy pregnancy. Women should be up to date on their vaccines before becoming pregnant, and it’s recommended that women receive vaccines to protect against both the flu and whopping cough (pertussis) during pregnancy.

04 | Adults

It is recommended that all adults get the flu vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Every adult should also get the Td or Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. Adults may need other vaccines – such as shingles, pneumococcal, hepatitis, HPV – depending on one's age, occupation, travel, health status, vaccination history, and other risk factors.

Immunizations are also important for anyone who is in close contact with the very young, the very old, people with weakened immune systems, and those who cannot be vaccinated.  For additional resources on recommended vaccinations, please visit: www.cdc.gov.

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References

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines  

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam.html

https://www.nphic.org/niam

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