Getting vaccinations on time is important

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The importance of keeping children vaccinated is well documented. Unfortunately, many adults overlook the benefits of staying up-to-date with their own vaccinations.

There are two vaccinations that the Centers for Disease Control recommends for every person, regardless of age. These include the yearly flu shot and the Tdap booster.

Everyone should receive the Tdap vaccination at least once in their life, especially if they are going to be around young children who may not have been able to start or complete their own set of immunizations due to health reasons. Over time, the Tdap tends to become less and less effective, so it is important to receive a booster shot every 10 years.

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As a young adult between the ages of 19 and 26, the CDC recommends getting the HPV vaccine, which can help prevent several types of cancer, as well as a vaccination for meningitis, which is common on college campuses.

Pregnant women should be vaccinated for the benefit of themselves and their unborn child. Family Physician Delora Denny said that when a pregnant woman gets the Tdap shot, the fetus is exposed to that medication so when the baby is born, it will already have partial immunity.

For adults older than 50, the CDC recommends getting the shingles and pneumococcal vaccinations.

Outside of these specific groups of people, there are still several reasons to stay up-to-date with vaccinations. For instance, when traveling abroad, research should be conducted to learn about the most prevalent diseases in the destination country. The same goes in instances of hosting overseas visitors. If a guest is coming in from a country affected by preventable diseases, be sure to get vaccinated just in case. 

While getting shots may seem like something only children have to deal with, but it is important for adults to stay vaccinated as well.