Belmont Physicians - Immunizations are Key for Adults

Primary Care Physicians Stress Importance of Vaccines for All Ages

DAYTON, Ohio (September 26, 2011) – While immunizations for children might be at the top of parents’ minds during back-to-school season, primary care physicians emphasize the importance of vaccinations at all ages.

“Adults get infections too, and sometimes those illnesses can be harder on adults than on children,” said Dr. Terez Metry of Belmont Physicians. “Vaccines help prevent major illnesses and help keep adults healthy and happy as they age.”

It is just as important to keep up with vaccinations and booster shots later in life as common conditions such as the flu and pneumonia sometimes take a greater toll on adults. In fact, the flu vaccine has already arrived in area physicians’ offices to help community members prepare for an early flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advocates the immunization of patients six months of age and older against the flu. Common vaccinations recommended for adults include: influenza (flu); pneumococcal (pneumonia); tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (Tdap) boosters; and zoster (shingles).

While there are legitimate health concerns associated with immunizations, physicians believe the benefits outweigh the risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. Vaccines go through years of testing before they can be licensed and, even then, they are continually monitored for safety and efficacy. Even with the precautions that are taken, some adults still question whether immunizations are truly helpful.

“Some people worry they’ll get sick from vaccines but that’s just not the case,” said Dr. Metry. “For example, adults who get the flu vaccination might experience normal side effects such as a slight fever or body aches, but they’re not going to get the actual flu.”

There are also a number of immunizations that adults need to prevent disease if they plan to travel outside of the United States. In those instances, patients should consult their primary care physician to determine what vaccinations or boosters they’ll need prior to departing on their trip. Regular visits to a primary care physician can help patients stay up-to-date on all the immunizations at every stage in their lives.

“We think of our practice as a ‘medical home’ for our patients,’” said Dr. Metry. “It’s our job to know exactly what’s going on in all facets of our patients’ medical lives—from things as simple as vaccines to details of the visits with their specialists.”

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