Affinity Health Plan

  • Health Awareness Series: September 2016 - Adult Immunizations

    September 16, 2016

    Adult Immunizations

    Did you know that vaccines are one of the best ways to stop diseases from spreading from person to person? Make sure you and your family are up to date on yours!

    Why should I get a vaccine?
    Vaccines are a very safe way to protect you and your family from serious diseases. Before there were vaccines, people got very sick and even died from sicknesses like measles, pneumonia or the flu.  Vaccines also protect other people who cannot be vaccinated and could get very sick if they are exposed to an illness.

    What are vaccines and who should get them?
    A vaccine is a shot that protects you from certain germs, such as measles or chickenpox. Vaccines help your immune system to make antibodies against disease, which then help fight that disease. You cannot get diseases from vaccines.

    Everyone should get the vaccines that their doctors suggest, especially the very young and the elderly. People with chronic health problems, like diabetes, HIV or heart problems, or those with a weak immune system, should make sure they are vaccinated. Caregivers should also be immunized.

    What vaccines do I need?
    Always talk to your doctor to see what vaccines you need. Here are some guidelines of suggested vaccines and who should get them:

    Adults (18 – 64 years of age):

    • Influenza (flu), one  each  year
    • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, also known as whooping cough)

    Women in their childbearing years:
    Before Pregnancy: Now is the time to get your shots. It takes a while for a vaccine to work, so plan ahead.  Here are some vaccines to take BEFORE you are pregnant. As always, speak to your doctor or health care provider.

    • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
    • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)
    • Varicella (chicken pox) if you were not vaccinated before

    During Pregnancy: Some vaccines are OK to get during pregnancy.

    • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)
    • Influenza (flu)

    Older adults (over 65):

    • Influenza (flu)
    • Herpes zoster (shingles)
    • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)
    • Pneumococcal disease (pneumonia)

    Where can I get my vaccines?

    • Local public health office
    • Your doctor
    • Drug store
    • Community health center

    Remember you can prevent disease with a simple vaccine!

    List of Recommended Immunizations for Adults

    To learn more:
    Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention

    American Academy of Pediatrics:
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    National Foundation for Infectious Diseases


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