Do​ ​adults​ ​need​ ​to​ ​get​ ​vaccinated?

Health TipsAugust 23, 2017

The start of a new school year always brings up an important topic: vaccines. Over the years,
you’ve likely taken your children to countless appointments to make sure their immunization
records are up to date. But have you ever thought about whether yours​ are? As an adult, do you
need to get vaccinated?

The​ ​short​ ​answer​ ​is​ ​yes.​ ​Vaccines aren’t just for children and the elderly. They are critical for
fighting diseases and illnesses that can occur at any age. Additionally, vaccines can weaken –
meaning vaccines you received as a child can wear off. (Just like any medication does!) Plus,
when you get vaccinated, you are helping protect the children and elderly people in your life. If
you can’t catch the illness, then you can’t expose them to it.

So next time you make vaccination appointments for your children, consider making one for you
and your spouse, too. While you don’t necessarily need to receive every vaccine, there are three
that you should absolutely consider.

1.​ Flu
This is the most common vaccine for adults, and it fights off influenza. Influenza isn’t just the
common cold – it’s a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization. (Not to mention, it’s absolutely
miserable to have.) You need to renew your flu vaccine every year, because its composition
changes. Each year, the vaccine is created to fight the most prominent or dangerous strains of
influenza. It’s best to receive this vaccine through an injection, and you should do so soon. Flu
season can begin as early as October and last until May! You can get the vaccine at your doctor’s
office, local hospital, or at a variety of pharmacies.

​ ​2.​ ​Hepatitis​ ​B
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver. It causes chronic infections and increases a
person’s risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer.​ ​The hepatitis B vaccination has been available since
1982, and it is 95% effective in preventing infection, chronic disease, and liver cancer due to
hepatitis B. Today, all infants receive this vaccine, which is administered through three or four
shots. Usually, you only need the hepatitis B vaccine one time in your life – so if you haven’t
received it, please make an appointment as soon as possible! This is especially important for
healthcare workers, as Hepatitis B is transferred through blood or bodily fluids.

3. Tdap
The Tdap vaccine protects against three different diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
Tetanus tightens and stiffens your muscles, so you can’t open your mouth, swallow, or breathe.
Diphtheria creates a thick coating on your throat, restricting your breathing. And pertussis is
whooping cough, which causes severe coughing and difficulty breathing. (Why would you not
want to guard your body from these?!)

The first dose of the Tdap vaccine is usually given around age 11 or 12. After that, every person
should receive a Td booster, every 10 years. Pregnant women should get the Tdap vaccine with
every pregnancy. Additionally, if you get a severe cut or burn, you should get another Tdap
injection to prevent tetanus.

We can’t say it enough: vaccines matters! They’ve saved billions of lives, and they are the only
way to keep dangerous diseases eradicated. For the health and safety of all, please keep your
family and yourself up to date on all vaccinations.

Interested in providing vaccines for your workplace? Contact us to learn about our Occupational
Health Services!