Vaccinations: Not Just for Kids!

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Of course you’re concerned about making sure your kids are vaccinated on schedule. But are you one of those adults who neglect regular vaccinations for yourself?

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

Physicians believe that the health benefits of regular vaccinations outweigh risks. In some cases, vaccines cause mild side effects. “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,” Dr. Metry says.

She added that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the U.S. has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. Before being licensed, vaccines must go through years of testing. And after approval, they are continually monitored for safety and efficacy.

Vaccinations for Adults

Common vaccinations recommended for adults include: influenza (flu), pneumococcal (pneumonia), tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (Tdap) boosters and zoster (shingles). Talk with your primary care provider about these and other immunizations recommended for adults.

Some are essential for all adults. Others are recommended for adults with certain risk factors, high exposure risk or immune deficiencies. Examples of these include immunizations for hepatitis A and B and meningococcal disease (bacterial meningitis). And a few are recommended specifically for older adults, such as zoster, to prevent shingles (age 60 and over) and pneumococcal vaccines, to prevent pneumonia (age 65 and older).

And if you’re pregnant, talk with your physician about vaccinations. Pregnant women should not be vaccinated against chickenpox. On the other hand, the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine should be administered during each pregnancy to provide extra protection to your newborn.

“Vaccines help prevent major illnesses and help keep adults healthy and happy as they age.”

Also be aware that some vaccinations are required for travel to certain destinations outside the U.S. Your doctor can advise you on this.

Vaccinations for Children

Children need 10 routine vaccinations. They are given in series of two to five doses at prescribed intervals, from infancy into childhood. Your child’s primary care doctor can provide you a complete schedule.

Immunization series and the diseases they protect against include: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), HepA (hepatitis A), HepB (hepatitis B), Hib (haemophilus influenzae Type B), PCV13 (pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia), polio, RV (rotavirus) and varicella (chickenpox).

Flu vaccinations also are recommended for children, 6 months through 18 years—particularly those who have chronic health conditions such as diabetes or asthma. Your doctor can advise you on whether your child should be immunized against the flu.

Also talk with your doctor about vaccines for:Vaccinations Not Just for Kids - In Content

  • Meningococcal disease (bacterial meningitis) — given at age 11 through 12, with a booster at age 16, and recommended for college freshmen and military recruits
  • Genital human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be sexually transmitted and lead to a variety of cancers in women and men. The vaccine is administered in three doses, age 11 through 12 for girls and age 9 through 18 for boys.

Stay Up-to-Date Throughout Life

Regular visits to a primary care physician can help you and your child stay up-to-date on all immunizations at every stage in life.

The CDC provides complete immunization schedules for children and adultsOff Site Icon.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.