Immunizations – Not Just For Kids

Are you up to date on your vaccines?

Are you up to date on your vaccines?

Getting shots isn’t just for kids, and as we get older it becomes increasingly more important so stay up to date on vaccinations. One of the most unfortunate side-effects of aging is a decreased immune system. This means that it’s harder to fight off diseases and far more likely that a life-threatening complication could develop.

Being a caregiver also increases your risk of exposure to these diseases. The best way to provide care is to stay healthy, so make sure that you’re up to date on your shots as well!

Always talk with your doctor before getting any medical treatment. Individual medical conditions, allergies, and drug interactions need to be taken into consideration before you receive any immunizations.

Something else to keep in mind, if you’re updating your vaccines for travel plans, most take at least a month to take full effect.

A few of the immunizations you should ask your doctor about:

Zoster

About 1 million Americans get shingles every year. About half of those cases are people over the age of 60. If you’ve had the chickenpox, you are at high risk for this painful infection.

Td or Tdap

Tetanus and Diphtheria or the Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis shots protect against diseases more commonly known as lockjaw and Whooping Cough. Make sure to renew them every 10 years since our aging population is highly susceptible to these.

Flu

Over 65% of flu-related hospitalizations are patients over 65.

Pneumococcal Vaccines

It is highly recommended that everyone over the age of 65 receive this to protect against infections in the lungs and bloodstream. Preventing these infections greatly reduces the chance of complications during surgeries and decreases the side effects of other viruses.

MMR

This protects against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. It’s a two-part vaccine with each dose given one month apart. These diseases were almost eliminated in the United States until the recent trend of refuses immunizations. They are also very common overseas, infecting 20 million people every year.

Varicella

If you are lucky enough to have not caught the Chickenpox, then you should consider getting the Varicella vaccine and have it renewed 10 years.

Hepatitis A

This disease is commonly contracted through contaminated food and water and is common throughout the world. This is also a two-dose vaccine and the first should be taken at least one month before traveling.

Typhoid

Unless you’re planning to travel internationally, this one isn’t as necessary as the others. Like Hep A, this is most commonly caught from contaminated food and water. If you’re traveling to South Asia, Central America, Africa, or parts of the Caribbean be sure to only eat thoroughly cooked foods, wash your hands before eating or preparing food, avoid food from street vendors, and only drink bottled or purified water.

Yellow Fever

This is required before you can travel to many parts of Africa and South America. Because it only takes ten days to take effect, it’s a little easier to plan for this. Very few travelers have contracted this over the last few decades, and none in the US, but its mortality rate is exceptionally high. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you plan to travel internationally.

Hepatitis B

Hep B is a virus that attacks the liver. This is a series of 3-4 shots over a 6 month period and should be renewed every 20 years.

Polio

This is widely eradicated throughout the world, but if you’re traveling to developing countries you may be at risk. Renew this one every 4-6 years.

 If you have any of the following conditions more vaccinations may be recommended for you.

  • Asplenia
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes I and II
  • HIV
  • Liver Disease
  • Lung Disease or Asthma
  • Renal Disease
  • Weakened Immune System

Your health and safety are very important to us. If you need help getting your loved ones to and from appointments for vaccinations we may be able to help. Or, if you need someone caring to stay with your loved ones while you get your own vaccinations updated, we can be there for you. Call us for more information!

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