National Immunization Awareness Month
Immunizations are not just for children. Adults need to get vaccinated to stay protected from flu, pneumonia and other diseases. August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). NIAM aims at raising awareness about why vaccines are important and how they prevent serious illnesses. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all adults get the following vaccines:
Influenza (flu) vaccine:
This vaccine is taken every year to protect against seasonal flu.
This vaccine is taken every 10 years to protect against tetanus.
This vaccine is taken once instead of Td vaccine to protect against tetanus and diphtheria plus pertussis (whooping cough) and during each pregnancy for women.
This vaccine is taken once in a lifetime and is approved for adults 18 years of age and older for the prevention of pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive disease caused by 13 Streptococcus pneumoniae strains.
This vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease, including infections in the lungs and bloodstream and is recommended for all adults over 65 years old, and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD, alcoholism, and kidney failure. They are also given to people with compromised immune status such as those with HIV, cancer or organ transplants.
This vaccine protects against shingles and it’s complications. It is recommended for healthy adults 50 years and older. It is administered in 2 doses of recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) (Shingrix) 2–6 months apart. It is administered regardless of past episode of shingles or vaccination with the older live shingles vaccine (Zostavax).
Other vaccines you need as an adult are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, job, health condition, and vaccines you have had in the past. Vaccines you need may include those that protect against human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal disease, hepatitis A and hepatitis B, chickenpox (varicella), measles, mumps, and rubella.
Take the quiz at https://www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched/
Remember vaccines are your best shot at good health!
Disclaimer: The information is intended to provide general education for patients and their families. The information provided does not constitute medical or healthcare advice for any individual and is not a substitute for medical and other professional advice and service.
Dr. Mahesh Ochaney is a solo practitioner who has been practicing Internal Medicine since 1991. Dr. Ochaney’s compassionate primary care has been recognized several times over the years, including being named a 2018 Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine and receiving a State of Maryland Governor’s Citation.