Don’t Forget Your Immunizations
Did you know that even as adults, it is important to stick to an immunization schedule? Getting your vaccines will help to safeguard your chances of living a long healthy life. Vaccines can help to decrease your risk of disease as well as helping to decrease the spread of disease in your community. When people in a community are vaccinated, the chance of an outbreak is greatly minimized.
If you are not aware of the vaccines you may need, talk to your medical provider. The state of Texas also has a website that can be used to track vaccines called Immtrak. Ask your doctor how to enroll. Immtrak can keep track of all administered vaccines and allow you to go to the site to print out your own vaccine report to take with you to your medical provider.
Many people worry about the side effects related to vaccine administration. Most side effects are very minor and typically include pain at the site of the injection or possibly a low grade fever. Many people fear they will get the flu from a flu shot. The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus so it cannot transmit infection. Typically if you get sick after the flu shot, you would have gotten sick anyway and it is only a coincidence.
There are also myths surrounding the need for healthy people to get vaccinated. Vaccines have been shown to provide benefits to healthy people as well as those living with a chronic illness. Often people believe that if they were vaccinated as a child, they do not need vaccines as an adult. The best way to make the determination is to have a conversation with your medical provider. You can work together to decide on which vaccines you may need.
As we age, there are vaccines that are targeted for adults such as the shingles vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine. There are also many vaccines that need boosters such as tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). If you have children or grandchildren it is important to make sure you are up to date on your Pertussis, as it will spread from child to adult.
Vaccines are a key component in managing your health. It is important to stay up to date on them to decrease your risk of illness, but also to help decrease disease within our communities.
Authored by: Victoria Langston, Clinic Administrator