Don’t Forget to Vaccinate!

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Every year hundreds of thousands of people die worldwide due to diseases that could have been prevented through proper immunizations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that between the 2015 and 2016 flu season the influenza vaccine alone prevented 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits in the United States alone.

Illnesses that can be prevented should be prevented but the reality is too little of the population is truly up to date with their recommended vaccines. Many individuals do not realize they need to continue certain vaccines through adulthood, never fully received all their vaccinations as a child, or are too busy to take care of their own health. Keeping up with your essential immunizations will keep you and your family safe from several potentially even fatal illnesses. Vaccines were developed to keep the population safe and when individuals appropriately receive vaccines they stop the spread of diseases to other people, decreasing the risk of local outbreaks and global epidemics.

Over time people’s immune systems will change with age; one main reason healthcare professionals emphasize the importance for all populations to receive immunizations throughout life, including not only newborns, but school children, preteens, adults and pregnant women. Proper immunizations will vary depending on an individual’s health status, age, workplace location, travel frequency, and health history. You should speak with your healthcare professional when deciding on new vaccines to appropriately determine which would be a right fit for you.

Vaccines are safe although very few individuals may have allergic reactions to ingredients within a vaccine, severe effects are extremely rare. The United States Food and Drug Administration thoroughly tests every immunization before approving it to the public. When developing new vaccines scientists and doctors work together to study the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.  

Immunizations readily available in the U.S. that prevent millions of deaths every year include:

·         Hepatitis A

·         Hepatitis B

·         Influenza (Flu)

·         Shingles (Herpes zoster)

·         MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella)

·         HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

·         Td/Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria) (pertussis also known as whooping cough)

·         TB (Tuberculosis)

·         IPV (Poliomyelitis)

·         RV (Rotavirus)

·         MenACWY/MPSV4 (Meningococcal)

·         PCV (Pneumococcal)

·         Varicella (Chickenpox)

These infectious diseases are still very common not only in the United States but globally as well. Healthcare professionals recommend for individuals to receive specific immunizations at certain stages of life. Check out Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended vaccinations for children at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf and for all ages click on https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/adult/adult-schedule-easy-read.pdf to learn more. Not sure if you’re up to date with immunizations? Call your recent healthcare provider to see what vital vaccines you could be missing. 

Getting vaccinated can be very convenient and many if not all vaccines can be found at your local pharmacy, community health clinics, doctor offices, and even some workplaces.  Check out https://vaccinefinder.org/ to find an immunization location near you. Why wait? Receive your forgotten immunizations today to keep you and your family safe from many preventable diseases!

Prefer a credible resource in Spanish? Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine and immunization information in Spanish at the link below https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/inmunizacion/index.html


Important Links

Vaccine Information For Adults (December 16, 2016) Retrieved August 16,2017 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza (Flu). (April 19, 2017) Retrieved August 16,2017 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.