Adult Vaccination: An Important Step in Protecting Health
Vaccines are an important step in protecting adults against serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. Even when adults are vaccinated at a younger age, the protection from some vaccines can wear off or the virus or bacteria that the vaccine protects against changes so your resistance is not as strong. As people get older, they may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases due to age, job, hobbies, travel, or chronic health condition. (Adolescent and Adult Quiz: What Vaccines Do YOU Need?)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all adults get the following vaccines:
- Influenza vaccine every year to protect against seasonal flu
- Td vaccine every 10 years to protect against tetanus
- Tdap vaccine once instead of Td vaccine to protect against tetanus and diphtheria plus pertussis (whooping cough) - Exception: Women should havea Tdap vaccination with each pregnacy.
- Other vaccines you need as an adult are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, job, health condition and vaccines you have had in the past. Vaccines may include those that protect against: shingles, human papillomavirus (which can cause certain cancers), pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease, hepatitis A and B, chickenpox (varicella), and measles, mumps, and rubella
Adults with chronic conditions
Adults with chronic conditions are more likely to develop complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases, including long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death.
- People with asthma, COPD, or other conditions that affect the lungs have a higher risk of complication from influenza (the flu) even if the condition is mild and symptoms are controlled. Since people with asthma and COPD have sensitive airways, inflammation from the flu can cause asthma attacks or make asthma and COPD symptoms worse. Those with asthma, COPD, or other conditions that affect the lungs are more likely to develop pneumonia and other respiratory diseases after getting sick with the flu than those without these conditions.
CDC recommends people with asthma, COPD, or other conditions that affect the lungs get a yearly influenza (flu) vaccine and a pneumococcal vaccine, once as an adult before age 65 years of age and again at age 65.
- People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of Hepatitis B virus infection. Hepatitis B can be spread through sharing of blood glucose meters, finger stick devices, or other diabetes care equipment such as insulin pens. Adults with diabetes (type 1 or type 2) ages 19 through 59 should receive the Hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after being diagnosed with diabetes. If you are 60 years or older and have diabetes, talk to your doctor to see if you should get the vaccine.
- Diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, can weaken the immune system’s ability to fight the flu. People with diabetes, even if well managed, are more likely than those without diabetes to have complications from the flu such as pneumonia, that can lead to hospitalization.
CDC recommends people with diabetes get a pneumococcal vaccine, once as an adult before age 65 years of age and again at age 65 years, and a yearly influenza (flu) vaccine, and a hepatitis B vaccine series if they’re between the age 19 and 59.
- People with heart disease, or those who have had a stroke, have a higher risk of serious medical complications from the flu, including worsening of their heart disease. People with heart disease are at almost three times higher risk of being hospitalized with influenza than those without heart disease.
Source: Centers for Disease Control