Vaccinations are often associated with children’s health. In fact, the immunization schedule published by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that children receive nearly 70 doses of immunizations before they turn 18. However, while the majority of vaccines are provided during youth, they still play an important role in adult health. If you’d like to learn more about how your vaccination needs differ after your childhood, consider these answers to four common questions about adult vaccinations.
Understanding Vaccines for Adults
Why do adults need vaccinations?
Vaccines are designed to prevent people from contracting highly communicable diseases. These treatments contain a weakened pathogen — such as a virus — that can help train the immune system to recognize and properly defend against the threat.
Since many of the same diseases that affect children can also impact adults, older individuals must also make sure to be immunized. This applies to past immunizations as well, since many vaccines will wear off over time and require boosters.
Is it safe for adults to receive vaccines?
Vaccines provided by doctors are carefully reviewed by medical authorities for safety and effectiveness. The FDA uses these insights to approve immunizations as safe for human use.
While vaccination side effects such as fever and skin irritation are possible, these symptoms are temporary and fairly minor. If you have a specific allergy that can interfere with a vaccine, your doctor may be able to recommend a safer alternative.
Which routine vaccines do adults need?
By reviewing your official medical records, your doctor can provide specific guidance on which immunizations you require. However, here are several general CDC recommendations to follow:
- Annual flu vaccines to protect against seasonal influenza.
- Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) boosters once every 10 years (or at every pregnancy) to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
Depending on your age, health risks, and lifestyle, your doctor may also recommend one or more doses of specific vaccines that protect against pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, HPV (human papillomavirus), and shingles.
What immunizations are recommended for travelers?
In addition to routine immunizations—such as those listed above—adults may also require specific travel vaccines if they are going to a foreign destination. These vaccinations are designed to protect against communicable diseases that aren’t common in the United States but are experienced overseas.
Some common travel vaccines include those that protect against yellow fever, meningitis, and Japanese encephalitis. The CDC offers an online tool to help travelers determine their specific immunization needs.
Whether you need your annual flu shot, a Tdap booster, or a special travel vaccination, HealthSmart Vaccinations in Chantilly, VA, has the resources you need to defend your body. Specializing in immunization, this team can answer any questions or concerns you have about your specific needs. They are also equipped to perform tuberculosis and yellow fever testing to address traveler’s health concerns. To learn more about this clinic’s services, visit them online or call (703) 961-0733.