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Immunizations

Adult Immunizations

25-64 years of age

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Although children are the most obvious candidates for vaccinations, as an adult, you also need to stay up to date on a range of immunizations. First of all, if you have never had certain vaccinations during childhood, you could have serious complications from these diseases. For example, the shot that protects against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is recommended if you are a woman of childbearing age and your immunity to MMR is low.

Secondly, if you did receive all of the recommended vaccines as a child, immunity against some diseases can gradually fade away over the years, which means booster shots are needed.

If you have any questions regarding which shots you may require, talk with your doctor.

 

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Teenager Immunizations
Chickenpox (Varicella Series)

Chickenpox Vaccine Information

  • Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease most often occurring in children.
  • Symptoms include: extremely itchy blisters all over the body that lead to irritability, fever, headache or stomachache, and rare but serious complications.

Why is the Chickenpox vaccine important?

  • At one time, chickenpox was a common childhood disease, but has become much less so since the introduction of the vaccine.
  • The vaccine prevents chickenpox completely or makes the illness very mild.
  • A person who has chickenpox may get a painful rash called Shingles years later.

Who should receive the Chickenpox vaccine?

  • Children under 13 should get two doses of the vaccine with the first between 12 and 15 months and the second at ages 4 to 6.
  • People 13 years of age and older who have never had chickenpox or the vaccine should get two doses, at least 28 days apart.
  • Chickenpox vaccination is especially important for:
    • Healthcare professionals and emergency medical personnel
    • Those exposed to young children including adolescent and adult family members, teachers, and daycare workers
    • College students and those in tight living quarters
Influenza
  • Influenza, commonly known as "the flu," causes a contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs. The flu usually lasts 3 to 7 days while a cough may linger for up to 2 weeks.

Why is the Influenza vaccine important?

  • The flu can cause serious illness, hospitalization and even death in people with chronic health conditions.
  • Everyone, including healthy individuals, can contract and spread the flu. Obtaining the flu vaccination not only protects you from illness but also those around you that may be at higher risk from becoming seriously ill.
  • The flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent infection.

Who should receive the Influenza vaccine?

  • Everyone over 6 months of age, especially:
    • New and expectant mothers, as well as other parents, family members, and caregivers to infants younger than 6 months old
    • Individuals above 50 years of age
    • Those with medical conditions including asthma and other respiratory disorders, compromised immune systems (including organ transplant and HIV/AIDS patients), diabetics, dialysis patients, etc.
    • All in contact with people that have health problems that put them at risk for developing complications — especially healthcare workers

Timing Considerations

  • You should get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available in case the flu season comes early. Once vaccinated, it can take up to 2 weeks for protection to develop.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German Measles) are serious diseases that were once very common in children before vaccines were available.
  • Measles virus: may cause rash, cough, runny nose, fever and more which may lead to serious complications including pneumonia, ear infection, seizures, brain damage, and death.
  • Mumps virus: causes fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen glands which may lead to serious complications including deafness and meningitis.
  • Rubella virus: causes rash, arthritis and mild fever. If the rubella virus is transmitted to a pregnant woman, miscarriage or serious birth defects may occur.

Why is the MMR vaccine important?

  • These are very easily spread both through the air and through person-to-person contact.
  • The MMR vaccination provides protection against all 3 of these illnesses.
  • Currently, these diseases are rare in the US. All individuals must continue to be immunized to prevent these diseases from becoming prevalent again.

Who should receive the MMR vaccine?

  • Everyone greater than 1 year of age should receive the MMR vaccination.
    • The vaccination is given as 2 doses, with the first given at 12-15 months of age (may be given at less than 12 months of age if traveling out of the country)
    • While infection is rare in the United States, it may be common in less developed countries — travelling individuals should ensure that they are protected
Pneumonia (Pneumococcal Conjugate)
  • Serious infection of the respiratory tract with symptoms that include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain with complications that may lead to longterm disabilities and even death.

Why is the Pneumonia vaccine important?

  • Bacteria known to cause pneumonia are actually found naturally in many people’s noses and throats and can be spread easily by coughing or sneezing.
    • It is unknown why the bacteria may suddenly invade the body and cause disease
  • Vaccination is known to prevent severe disease, hospitalization and death in many cases.

Who should receive the Pneumonia vaccine?

  • Many individuals are at high risk for developing complications and severe pneumonia illness. Vaccination is very important for these individuals:
    • Infants and young children
    • Adults over the age of 65
    • Smokers and asthmatics
    • Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
    • Those with chronic heart or lung disease, diabetes, kidney failure, etc.
    • Those with compromised immune systems such as HIV/AIDS and organ transplant patients
Td/Tdap
  • Td vaccine: protects against diphtheria and tetanus viruses. Tdap vaccine: provides additional protection against pertussis.

Why is the Td/Tdap vaccine important?

  • Tetanus (Lockjaw): a life-threatening disease that causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body, which may also lead to “locking” of the jaw, making it impossible to open the mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 20% of cases.
  • Diphtheria: results in a thick covering of the back of the throat that may lead to breathing problems, heart failure and even death.
  • Pertussis (“Whooping Cough”): a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract.
  • Pertussis may initially resemble a cold but eventually turns more serious, especially for infants, with coughing fits that can disturb normal breathing. It can be fatal.
    • Family members have been identified as the source of transmission in 80% of infant cases. Even when babies are vaccinated, they are not fully protected until they have received at least 3 doses of the pertussis vaccine.

Who should receive the Td/Tdap vaccine?

  • Td: adolescents and adults as a booster shot every 10 years, or following exposure to tetanus.
  • Tdap: a single dose for individuals between 11 and 64. New and expectant mothers should especially ensure that they are vaccinated against pertussis.
  • Tdap: should also be received by:
    • Adults 65 and older who have close contact with infants and have not previously received the Tdap vaccine.
    • Children ages 7-10 who are not fully immunized against pertussis