Never Too Old to Get a Shot
Many adult illnesses can be avoided with regular vaccination
COLUMBUS, OH -
“So often when we think of immunization we think of children and the schedule of vaccines that provides them with protection,” said Joan Bowe, RN, BSN, with the Adult Immunization Coalition of Central Ohio. “Adults should also receive vaccines that are specifically recommended for them and protect them against potentially serious diseases. These include influenza, pneumonia, measles, tetanus, hepatitis B, whooping cough and shingles. One in three adults will develop shingles in their lifetime. Staying up to date on immunizations can help adults protect themselves against these diseases. For adults, immunization is an important step to good health and staying active.”
For adults living with chronic illnesses, staying current on their vaccination can be critical. People with chronic conditions such as kidney or heart disease, diabetes, asthma, HIV/AIDS, mental illness and more can avoid unnecessary stress on the body by getting appropriate vaccines. In 2006, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued a "science advisory" informing medical professionals that heart patients who get an annual flu vaccine have better health outcomes. The National Kidney Foundation recommends that patients with kidney disease stay current with vaccines for flu, pneumonia, tetanus, and hepatitis B. Individuals living with HIV/AIDS or diabetes also may more susceptible to infections so immunization is important to them as well.
For adults in certain professions, immunization is essential to protect them and others with whom they come in contact. Healthcare professionals should keep up with vaccines to protect themselves and their patients. Teachers, childcare workers, parents, grandparents and other caregivers who work with small children should get a whooping cough booster.
There were 3,000 cases of whooping cough in Ohio in 2010 and the disease can be very serious in infants and toddlers. In addition, Americans planning foreign travel should check with their doctors to see what vaccines might be advisable because disease rarely seen in this country can be common elsewhere.
Workplace productivity is enhanced when employees adhere to an adult vaccination schedule. Influenza especially can take its toll in the workplace when an infected employee comes to work sick and spreads the virus to others. Healthcare costs are contained when workers stay healthier, and they make a greater contribution to the bottom line as well.
Some vaccines are recommended for adults of any age, while others are needed at a certain point. Young adults heading to college should have a vaccine to prevent meningitis, a potentially deadly disease which has cropped up on college campuses throughout Ohio in recent years. The human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV), which can prevent genital warts and cancer, is recommended for young men and women
Adults 60 and older can prevent or lessen the severity of painful shingles with a vaccination. Older adults in particular should also have a pneumonia vaccination.
Confused about which vaccines you need? Check with your healthcare provider or take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s useful quiz for figuring out what shots you may need as an adult: http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/adultImmSched/.
The Immunization Advocacy Network of Ohio is a consortium of organizations and individuals who believe in the critical importance of immunization and in the need for vigilance in educating the public and government representatives about the positive impact of immunization. Visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Immunization-
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Hudson Spinal Health & Wellness
Jeffrey S. Hudson, D.C., CCN
58 Westerview Drive
Westerville, Ohio 43081
Phone: (614) 890-
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