Each month, a health care professional will weigh in on a health and wellness myth and will explain the real cause behind the malady.
This month’s misconception: Only children need vaccinations
Vaccinations are a well-known part of childhood, but adults also can benefit from vaccines. As with children, vaccines protect adults from a variety of illnesses.
While many adults may have been vaccinated when they were younger, some vaccines do not offer lifelong protection, and others are designed for illnesses we are more susceptible to as we get older. It’s important to stay up-to-date on vaccinations to protect yourself and others from illness.
The annual flu shot is probably the most well-known vaccine for adults. It is especially recommended for those at higher risk of complications from the flu, including people with certain chronic medical conditions and those ages 65 and older, though most healthy adults would benefit from it.
In most healthy adults, a Tetanus vaccination is offered every 10 years, and Tdap, to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, is also recommended. Depending on your age, other vaccines that could be of benefit to you include the pneumococcal vaccine (protecting from blood, brain and lung infections), shingles vaccine, meningococcal vaccine, and hepatitis A and B vaccines.
Whether you should receive a particular vaccination is dependent on your age, medical history and overall health, so be sure to discuss with your doctor what vaccines may be beneficial for you.