When we reach adulthood the thought of getting regular vaccinations becomes clouded by other responsibilities, and we begin to believe we don’t need them anymore. However, this perception is wrong. Shots are just as important for adults as they are for children, says UAMS primary care physician Dr. Deipti Trehun.
Factors such as age, lifestyle, high-risk conditions, types and locations of travel and previous immunizations determine which vaccines you need. Adults should protect themselves from illnesses such as the flu, tetanus, shingles and HPV.
“There are vaccinations that adults need regularly,” Dr. Trehun says. “One of these would be the flu shot, which you need every year in the early flu season preferably. You also need a tetanus shot every 10 years. The reason for that is that even if you have a small cut you are at a high risk for getting tetanus.”
Dr. Trehun says there is even a pneumonia vaccine, which surprises most people.
“The guidelines are that if you are a diabetic, if you smoke, if you have any chronic lung disease like asthma or COPD, you want to get a pneumonia shot before you’re 65 and then one at 65. Then you’re done for life.”
If you’re 60 or older, you can receive the shingles vaccine, and women 26 or younger are encouraged to have the HPV vaccine. Other vaccines you may want to consider protect against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, and measles, mumps and rubella, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So roll up those sleeves and decide to set a healthy example for your family.
For more information, contact our Family Medical Center or visit our medical services.