August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This recognition exists as a reminder to make sure we are up to date with all recommended immunizations and vaccines. Certain immunizations are necessary for everyone and they are one of the most effective ways to protect your health and the health of those closest to you. Although some vaccines may have very mild side effects, severe side effects or reactions are very rare.
Many people don’t realize how important vaccines are, even well into adulthood. Every year, thousands of adults in the United States get sick from diseases that could have prevented by a vaccine. These types of illnesses can result in missed work or school, hospitalization, or even death.
Vaccines not only lower your chance of getting sick, but they also help lower your chances of spreading diseases. If you are still unsure about whether or not to get vaccinated, just remember that in doing so, you are helping to protect the most vulnerable in our community, including children, elderly, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer treatment.
All adults should receive an influenza vaccine every year during flu season and a onetime Tdap vaccine which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Many people may need additional immunizations depending on certain factors such as age, other health conditions, job, and travel outside of the U.S. Some other vaccines that may be recommended include immunizations against pneumonia, shingles, human papilloma virus (HPV), measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), and chicken pox.
Next time you’re in the office, ask your provider if you’re up to date with your vaccinations, and remember- flu season is right around the corner! You can call to come in for a flu vaccine any time this fall!