Vaccinations aren't just for kids─make sure you have the ones you need!

Many people think that vaccinations are only for kids, but that's just not true. Adults, including those over 50, need to get vaccinations too. You still need them to stay healthy, just like you did when you were younger.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently changed their recommendations of which vaccinations adults over 50 need. Check with your doctor and make sure you are current on the following vaccinations:

 

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

This vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of 60, whether or not you've previously experienced shingles. Shingles seems to be especially painful in cases involving older adults, so make sure you get this immunization.

You'll only need to get it once.

 

Diphtheria and Tetanus

You should receive a booster shot for diphtheria and tetanus every 10 years. These are combined in one shot, the Td booster.

 

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

This is an important vaccination if you have never received the shot before, especially if you have contact with a baby. You only need to get this vaccination once, but the CDC has changed their guidelines and now recommends that all adults receive this shot, even if they are over 65 years of age.

 

Pneumococcal disease (Pneumonia)

This is recommended for everyone age 65 and older, and for people over 50 with certain risk factors. You only need this vaccination once.

 

MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)

You should receive this vaccination if you were born after 1956 and are unsure if you have ever received the vaccine. If you don't know if you have received it, you should get a booster shot.

 

Influenza (Flu)

Flu kills around 36,000 people in the U.S. every year, and older adults are one of the most vulnerable groups.

If you are over 50, the CDC recommends that you do NOT get the nasal spray vaccine. It has does not seem to be effective for older adults.

All adults should get this shot annually, because each year's flu shot is specifically made for that year's flu. September through March is the ideal time to get this vaccination.

 

That's it! (Unless you're in certain high-risk groups; please check with your doctor about these.) That's not so bad, is it? And some of those you probably already have.

Remember that it helps everyone stay healthy in our community when our fellow residents keep current on vaccinations.

Make an appointment with your doctor today to get updated on your vaccines. Do it for yourself, and do it for your friends and neighbors!